The aim of this study was to assess the presence and seasonal frequency of various enteric viruses in wastewater treatment. The detection of astrovirus, norovirus, enterovirus, hepatitis A virus (HAV) and rotavirus was carried out by molecular analyses in concentrated water samples collected over 18 months at the entrance and exit of an activated sludge sewage treatment plant. The reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results were confirmed by sequencing, and comparative phylogenetic analysis was performed on the isolated strains. Genomes of human astrovirus and human rotavirus were identified in 26/29 and 11/29 samples of raw sewage, respectively, and in 12/29 and 13/29 treated effluent samples, respectively. Some rotavirus sequences detected in environmental samples were very close to those of clinical strains. Noroviruses, enteroviruses and HAV were not detected during the study period. This could be related to the small sample volume, to the sensitivity of the detection methods or to local epidemiological situations. Frequent detection of viral RNA, whether infectious or not, in the exit effluent of sewage treatment indicates wide dispersion of enteric viruses in the environment. Consequently, viral contamination resulting from the use of these treated waters is a risk that needs to be addressed.

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