Utilization of interferometric light microscopy for the rapid analysis of virus abundance in a river

Res Microbiol. 2017 Jun;168(5):413-418. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2017.02.004. Epub 2017 Mar 2.


There is a constant need for direct counting of biotic nanoparticles such as viruses to unravel river functioning. We used, for the first time in freshwater, a new method based on interferometry differentiating viruses from other particles such as membrane vesicles. In the French Marne River, viruses represented between 42 and 72% of the particles. A spring monitoring in 2014 revealed their increase (2.1 × 107 to 2.1 × 108 mL-1) linked to an increase in algal biomass and diversity of bacterial plankton. Predicted virus size distributions were in agreement with transmission electron microscopy analysis suggesting a dominance of large viruses (≥60 nm).

Keywords: Interferometric light microscopy; Membrane vesicle; River; Virus.

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Cyanobacteria / virology
  • Fresh Water / virology
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Microscopy, Interference*
  • Plankton / virology
  • Rivers / virology*
  • Seasons
  • Viruses / isolation & purification*
  • Viruses / ultrastructure*