Biofilms are ubiquitous and may act as reservoir for pathogenic microorganisms. However, little is known about interactions between biofilms and viruses, as most studies focus on bacteria. Enteric viruses enter the water cycle through human feces and are characterized by their high environmental persistence and low infectious doses. The aim of the project is to validate incorporation, persistence and release of enteric viruses into and from aquatic biofilms including physicochemical and biological parameters with an influence thereon.

The project is part of the transdisciplinary graduate school “Future Water”, which works out a sustainable water management strategy in the urban area. The project “Viruses in biofilms” is a cooperation project between the department of Aquatic Microbiology at the Biofilm Centre of the UDE and the department for Hygiene, Social- and Environmental Medicine of the Ruhr University Bochum. Thus, expertise about biofilms and virology is combined.

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  • Prof. Dr. Rainer Meckenstock
  • Dr. Jost Wingender



  • Ministerium für Innovation, Wissenschaft und Forschung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

Project partners

  • Prof. Dr. med. Dipl.-Biol. Michael Wilhelm (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
  • Dr. Christoph Donner (RWW)