This study was initiated by the AFNOR water microbiology working group to evaluate the performance of the glass wool method for virus recovery. Its reliability was tested with drinking and sea water by respectively nine and thirteen laboratories. In both trials, six were actively involved in water virology research, one was designated as a central laboratory, the others had no experience in virological practices. Analysis of reproducibility and repeatability according to NF-ISO 5725-2 were realized. For drinking waters (24 assays), the average recovery efficiency was 72%, mean standard deviations: repeatability 12.4%; reproducibility 33.6%; inter-laboratories 21%. For sea waters (39 assays), the average recovery efficiency was 75% and the mean standard deviations 6.9%, 17.9% and 11% respectively.

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