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Water Res. 2003 Sep;37(15):3704-8.

Incidence of adenoviruses in raw and treated water.

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Department of Medical Virology, Institute of Pathology, University of Pretoria, PO Box 2034, Pretoria 0001, South Africa.


Adenoviruses are of major public health importance and are associated with a variety of clinical manifestations, i.e. gastroenteritis, eye infections and respiratory infections. The importance of water in the epidemiology of adenoviruses and the potential health risks constituted by adenoviruses in water sources and supplies are widely recognised. This study was conducted to assess the incidence of human adenoviruses in raw and treated water systems. Various raw and treated water were routinely monitored for the presence of adenoviruses, over a 1-year period (July 2000-June 2001). The supplies were derived from acceptable quality surface water sources using treatment processes, which conform to international standards for the production of safe drinking water. Adenoviruses were detected by firstly amplifying the viruses in cell cultures and then amplifying the extracted nucleic acids of these viruses using molecular techniques (nested PCR). The results indicated human adenoviruses present in 13 (12.75%) of the raw and 9 (4.41%) of the treated water samples tested. The combination of cell culture and nested PCR has proved to be a quick and reliable method for the detection of adenoviruses in water environments.

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