Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Casanova

Second Advisor

Dr. Christine Stauber


The 2014 outbreak of Ebola increased the need for many types of research involving work with infectious Ebola virus. Due to the high mortality rate and limited treatment options, Ebola can only be handled at the highest level of laboratory containment, biosafety level (BSL) 4. One of the requirements of a BSL4 laboratory is that liquids from sinks, drains, and other liquid disposal systems cannot be discharged directly into the sanitary sewer. One option for such laboratories is an effluent discharge system (EDS) where effluent is held in a tank at high temperature for a period of time to inactivate microbes before being disposed of in the sanitary sewer. These systems must be validated to ensure they can inactivate viruses like Ebola before disposal. Surrogate viruses Phi6 and MS2 were used to serve as models for the behavior of human viruses. These viruses were used to determine effective time and temperature combinations for an EDS. In this project, Phi6 and MS2 were suspended in water with protein added and were exposed to temperatures of 70oC and 90oC at time points 0 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, 6 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes to mimic an EDS. An inactivation curve was developed using the double agar layer technique to determine different log reductions over time so that protocols may be established for the EDS. Based on the results, it would be recommended to run the EDS at these temperatures for 10 minutes or longer to ensure complete inactivation.