Viral Eco-Genomic Tools: Development and Implementation for Aquatic Biomonitoring

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jun 23;19(13):7707. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19137707.


Enteric viruses (EVs) occurrence within aquatic environments varies and leads to significant risk on public health of humans, animals, and diversity of aquatic taxa. Early and efficacious recognition of cultivable and fastidious EVs in aquatic systems are important to ensure the sanitary level of aquatic water and implement required treatment strategies. Herein, we provided a comprehensive overview of the conventional and up-to-date eco-genomic tools for aquatic biomonitoring of EVs, aiming to develop better water pollution monitoring tools. In combination with bioinformatics techniques, genetic tools including cloning sequencing analysis, DNA microarray, next-generation sequencing (NGS), and metagenomic sequencing technologies are implemented to make informed decisions about the global burden of waterborne EVs-associated diseases. The data presented in this review are helpful to recommend that: (1) Each viral pollution detection method has its own merits and demerits; therefore, it would be advantageous for viral pollution evaluation to be integrated as a complementary platform. (2) The total viral genome pool extracted from aquatic environmental samples is a real reflection of pollution status of the aquatic eco-systems; therefore, it is recommended to conduct regular sampling through the year to establish an updated monitoring system for EVs, and quantify viral peak concentrations, viral typing, and genotyping. (3) Despite that conventional detection methods are cheaper, it is highly recommended to implement molecular-based technologies to complement aquatic ecosystems biomonitoring due to numerous advantages including high-throughput capability. (4) Continuous implementation of the eco-genetic detection tools for monitoring the EVs in aquatic ecosystems is recommended.

Keywords: aquatic biomonitoring; eco-genomic tools; enteric viruses; pollutants.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Monitoring
  • Ecosystem*
  • Enterovirus* / genetics
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Genome, Viral
  • Metagenomics / methods
  • Water Microbiology

Grant support

This work was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research at Jouf University under Grant Number (DSR2022-RG-0152).