Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the presence of norovirus (NoV) in recreational waters of four estuarine beaches located in Mosqueiro Island, Belém city, Brazilian Amazon, during two years of monitoring (2012 and 2013). NoV particles were concentrated on filtering membrane by the adsorption-elution method and detected by semi-nested RT-PCR and sequencing. NoV positivity was observed in 37.5% (39/104) of the surface water samples, with genogroup GI (69.2%) occurring at a higher frequency than GII (25.7%), with a cocirculation of both genogroups in two samples (5.1%). This virus was detected in all sampling points analyzed, showing the highest detection rate at the Paraíso Beach (46.2%). Statistically, there was a dependence relationship between tide levels and positive detection, with a higher frequency at high tide (46.7%) than at low tide (25%) periods. Months with the highest detection rates (April 2012 and April/May 2013) were preceded by periods of higher precipitation (March 2012 and February/March 2013). Phylogenetic analysis showed the circulation of the old pandemic variant (GII.4-US_95-96) and GI.8. The NoV detection demonstrated viral contamination on the beaches and evidenced the health risk to bathers, mainly through recreational activities such as bathing, and highlighted the importance of including enteric viruses research in the recreational water quality monitoring.

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