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J Appl Microbiol. 2015 Nov;119(5):1443-53. doi: 10.1111/jam.12920. Epub 2015 Sep 24.

Detection and genotyping of group A rotaviruses isolated from sewage samples in Monastir, Tunisia between April 2007 and April 2010.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Infectious Diseases and Biological Agents, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Monastir, Monastir, Tunisia.
2
National Reference Center for Enteric Viruses, Laboratory of Virology, University Hospital of Dijon, Dijon, France.
3
Laboratory of Immunology, University Hospital Fattouma Bourguiba, Monastir, Tunisia.

Abstract

AIMS:

To ascertain the viral load, the distribution of G and P types of group A rotaviruses (RV-A) in sewage samples and to compare strains in clinical, animal and environmental samples.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

During our study from April 2007 to April 2010, 518 samples of raw and treated sewage were collected from two biological sewage treatment plants (STPs) located in the Monastir region, Tunisia. RV-A was detected by real-time RT-PCR in 375 (72·4%) sewage samples. According to the quantification results of RV-A, it appears that the viral load in raw and treated sewage of the two STPs was quite similar (P = 0·735). The genotyping of RV-A strains detected in sewage samples showed a great diversity with 10 G types and 8 P types. Most of them were described as common in humans, but we also detected genotypes commonly found in animals. All the genotypes detected in two previous studies performed in our laboratory on clinical and bovine samples were also found in environmental samples. However, some genotypes commonly found in animal were only found in sewage samples.

CONCLUSION:

The comparison of environmental, clinical and animal data suggests that STPs may convey not only human sewage but also animal wastes, both of them contaminated with numerous RV-A strains which are not efficiently eliminated by the sewage treatment process and may spread to surface waters.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

This work demonstrates the potential release of human and animal RV-A into water sources, representing a public health risk, by inducing gastroenteritis in population, but also by increasing the risk of zoonotic transmission and formation of reassortant viruses which could get a higher infectious potential. Our findings also suggest that monitoring of sewage may provide an additional tool to determine the epidemiology of RV-A circulating in a given community.

KEYWORDS:

Tunisia; bovine rotavirus; human rotavirus; rotavirus genotype; sewage

PMID:
26248601
DOI:
10.1111/jam.12920
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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