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Water Res. 2007 Mar;41(6):1169-76. Epub 2007 Feb 15.

Hepatitis A virus in environmental water samples from the Amazon Basin.

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Department of Virology, Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Fiocruz/ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is a significant waterborne human pathogen. Of the global supply of potable water, Brazil retains 13%, of which 75% resides in the Amazon Basin. Although hepatitis A morbidity has declined progressively in Brazil as a whole, it remains high in the Amazon region. We used nested and real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect and quantify the viral load in water samples from the Amazon Basin. Most samples tested positive (92%), with viral loads varying from 60 to 5500 copies /L, depending on sanitary conditions and the degree of flooding. Nested RT-PCR of the VP1-2A region detected HAV RNA in 23% of the samples. In low viral load samples, HAV was detected only with real-time RT-PCR, suggesting that this technique is useful for monitoring HAV contamination. The presence of HAV in water samples constitutes a serious public health problem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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