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Zentralbl Hyg Umweltmed. 1998 Sep;201(3):279-84.

Persistence of infectious hepatitis A virus and its genome in artificial seawater.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Virologie, Institut de biologie, CHRU de Nantes, France.


The stability of the hepatitis A virus (HAV) genome detectable by RT-PCR in artificial sterile seawater seeded with HAV has been compared to that of HAV detectable in cell culture. The HAV genome was detectable by RT-PCR for 232 days while virus particles were detectable in cell culture for only 35 days. This difference in stability indicates that detection of the HAV genome by RT-PCR is not a reliable indicator of the survival of HAV detectable in cell cultures. However, before these results can be extrapolated to stability in natural seawater, the effect of additional elements in the natural environment, such as bacteria, fungi and suspended matter, on the stability of the HAV genome and cell culture infectious HAV particles, will have to be examined.

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