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Water Res. 2002 Jan;36(1):248-56.

Detection of infectious enteroviruses and adenoviruses in tap water in urban areas in Korea.

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School of Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University, South Korea.


We investigated the viral contamination of tap water at 11 urban sites in Korea between 1997 and 1998 over a period of 11 months. A total of 23 tap water samples were examined for infectious enteroviruses and adenoviruses by a cell culture technique followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. To identify the recovered viruses, sequence analysis of PCR products was performed. Infectious enteroviruses and adenoviruses were detected in 11 (47.8%) and 9 (39.1%) of the samples, respectively. Both enteroviruses and adenoviruses were detected in five samples (21.7%). The level of viral contamination was quite high, ranging from 2 x 10(-3) to 2.9 x 10(-2) Most Probable Number of Infectious Unit L(-1), far above the recommended virus level in drinking water set by the US EPA. Poliovirus type I derived from vaccine was frequently detected and the remainder comprised coxsackievirus B type or echovirus type 6, which were causative agents of aseptic meningitis in Korea in 1997 and 1998, respectively. Several types of adenovirus were detected in tap water samples and some water samples were found to contain adenoviruses which were closely related to enteric adenovirus types 40 and 41.

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