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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Dec;73(24):7874-81. Epub 2007 Oct 12.

Occurrence of human adenoviruses at two recreational beaches of the great lakes.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University, A136 Engineering Research Complex, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.


Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) have been related to several waterborne diseases such as acute gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis, and respiratory illness, and it has been shown that an important human exposure pathway is through recreational waters. However, HAdV occurrence at recreational freshwater beaches has not been previously investigated. In this study, a total of 58 water samples were collected from two recreational beaches on Lake Michigan (i.e., Silver Beach and Washington Park Beach) during the summer of 2004. Occurrences of HAdVs in these lake samples were determined using two hexon-based real-time PCR assays (one for monitoring all 51 serotypes of HAdVs and another for specifically detecting F species HAdVs, i.e., serotypes 40 and 41) and compared to an integrated cell culture (ICC) PCR method. The real-time PCR results showed that 8 of 30 Silver Beach samples and 6 of 28 Washington Park Beach samples contained HAdVs, and F species HAdVs were detected in three of these positive samples. The concentrations of HAdVs ranged from (1.7 +/- 0.7) x 10(1) to (3.4 +/- 0.8) x 10(2) and from (7 +/- 2) x 10(0) to (3.8 +/- 0.3) x 10(3) virus particles/liter for Silver Beach and Washington Park Beach, respectively. F species HAdVs were detected at levels ranging from (4.8 +/- 0.8) x 10(1) to (4.6 +/- 1.5) x 10(2) virus particles/liter. Approximately 60% of the ICC-PCR analyses agreed with the real-time PCR results. This study revealed the occurrence of HAdVs at Lake Michigan recreational beaches. Given the potential health risks, further assessment regarding sources, virus transport, and survival is needed to improve the safety of the region.

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