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Food Environ Virol. 2015 Dec;7(4):309-15. doi: 10.1007/s12560-015-9203-7. Epub 2015 Jun 7.

First Detection of Human Papillomaviruses and Human Polyomaviruses in River Waters in Italy.

Author information

1
Department of Environment and Primary Prevention, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161, Rome, Italy.
2
Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-Mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161, Rome, Italy.
3
Department of Environment and Primary Prevention, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161, Rome, Italy. giuseppina.larosa@iss.it.

Abstract

Waterborne exposure to human viruses is possible through contact with contaminated water environments and can result in infections associated with a wide range of illnesses, including gastrointestinal, respiratory, ear, ocular, and skin infections. Recently, the occurrence in water environments of two groups of human viruses-both known with oncogenic potential, human polyomaviruses (HPyVs) and papillomaviruses (HPVs)-has been reported worldwide. These viruses, responsible for highly prevalent infections worldwide, have recently been proposed as potentially emerging waterborne pathogens. The objective of the present study was to examine the occurrence of HPyVs and HPVs in surface waters, by monitoring two rivers in Northwestern Italy, by nested PCR assays and sequencing. HPyVs (JC, BK, and Merkel cell polyomavirus) were detected in 10/25 (40%) samples. HPVs (HPV8, 17, 21, 25, 32, 80, 99, 105, and putative new HPVs) were identified in 14/25 (56%) river samples. The number of HPV DNA copies in waters was measured by quantitative real-time PCR. To our knowledge, this is the first detection and quantification of HPVs in surface waters. The possibility that HPyVs and HPVs can be transmitted by the waterborne route deserves to be explored in future studies.

KEYWORDS:

Human papillomavirus; Human polyomavirus; River; Water

PMID:
26049729
DOI:
10.1007/s12560-015-9203-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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