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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1994 Aug;60(8):2963-70.

Detection of adenoviruses and enteroviruses in polluted waters by nested PCR amplification.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Barcelona, Spain.


A procedure has been developed for the rapid detection of enteroviruses and adenoviruses in environmental samples. Several systems for virus concentration and extraction of nucleic acid were tested by adding adenovirus type 2 and poliovirus type 1 to different sewage samples. The most promising method for virus recovery involved the concentration of viruses by centrifugation and elution of the virus pellets by treatment with 0.25 N glycine buffer, pH 9.5. Nucleic acid extraction by adsorption of RNA and DNA to silica particles was the most efficient. One aliquot of the extracted nucleic acids was used for a nested two-step PCR, with specific primers for all adenoviruses; and another aliquot was used to synthesize cDNA for a nested two-step PCR with specific primers for further detection of seeded polioviruses or all enteroviruses in the river water and sewage samples. The specificity and sensitivity were evaluated, and 24 different enterovirus strains and the 47 human adenovirus serotypes were recognized by the primers used. The sensitivity was estimated to be between 1 and 10 virus particles for each of the species tested. Twenty-five samples of sewage and polluted river water were analyzed and showed a much higher number of positive isolates by nested PCR than by tissue culture analysis. The PCR-based detection of enteroviruses and adenoviruses shows good results as an indicator of possible viral contamination in environmental wastewater.

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