Large scale survey of enteric viruses in river and waste water underlines the health status of the local population

Environ Int. 2015 Jun;79:42-50. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2015.03.004. Epub 2015 Mar 17.


Although enteric viruses constitute a major cause of acute waterborne diseases worldwide, environmental data about occurrence and viral load of enteric viruses in water are not often available. In this study, enteric viruses (i.e., adenovirus, aichivirus, astrovirus, cosavirus, enterovirus, hepatitis A and E viruses, norovirus of genogroups I and II, rotavirus A and salivirus) were monitored in the Seine River and the origin of contamination was untangled. A total of 275 water samples were collected, twice a month for one year, from the river Seine, its tributaries and the major WWTP effluents in the Paris agglomeration. All water samples were negative for hepatitis A and E viruses. AdV, NVGI, NVGII and RV-A were the most prevalent and abundant populations in all water samples. The viral load and the detection frequency increased significantly between the samples collected the most upstream and the most downstream of the Paris urban area. The calculated viral fluxes demonstrated clearly the measurable impact of WWTP effluents on the viral contamination of the Seine River. The viral load was seasonal for almost all enteric viruses, in accordance with the gastroenteritis recordings provided by the French medical authorities. These results implied the existence of a close relationship between the health status of inhabitants and the viral contamination of WWTP effluents and consequently surface water contamination. Subsequently, the regular analysis of wastewater could serve as a proxy for the monitoring of the human viruses circulating in both a population and surface water.

Keywords: Enteric viruses; PCR; River water; Viral load; Wastewater effluent; Water contamination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Enterovirus / genetics
  • Enterovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • France
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Rivers / virology*
  • Viral Load
  • Waste Water / virology*
  • Water Pollution / analysis*


  • RNA, Viral
  • Waste Water