The effects of viral gastroenteritis are more devastating in children than in any other age category. Thus, children exposed to the consumption of low quality water are at an increased risk of infection, especially in regions where sanitation is inadequate. The present study aimed to provide a survey of the occurrence of representative enteric viruses: human adenovirus (HAdV), human enteroviruses (hEV), and genogroup A rotavirus (GARV) in tap water samples collected in public schools located at six municipalities of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. Seventy-three schools were included in the study and tap water samples were analyzed by conventional PCR for the presence of HAdV, hEV, and GARV genomes. hEV showed the highest detection rate (27.4%), followed by HAdV (23.3%), and GARV (16.4%). New approaches to water monitoring should be considered to promote a better water quality and reduce the risk of waterborne diseases, especially considering drinking water to be served to vulnerable individuals.

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