Rotaviruses are among the major causes of acute gastroenteritis in man as well as a variety of animals. Although not much is known about the mechanisms of transmission of these viruses in nature, fecally-contaminated water appears to play a role in this regard. This study was, therefore, aimed at determining how well rotaviruses could survive in water. Calf rotavirus (strain C-486) grown in MA-104 cells was used as a model in this study. Samples of raw (RW) and municipally-treated tap water (TW) from the Ottawa River (Ontario, Canada) were contaminated with the virus to give a final concentration of approximately 5.0 × 104 plaque forming units (PFU)/ml. The virus-contaminated water samples were held either at 4°C or 20°C in the dark for a total of 64 days. In TW held at 4°C, there was no significant drop in the virus titre even after 64 days, whereas, at 20°C the titre was reduced by nearly 2-logl0 over the same period. In RW a 3-10gl0 drop in PFU occurred in 16 and 32 days at 20°C and 4°C, respectively. These data indicate that rotaviruses could survive long enough in the water environment to give water a considerable potential as a vehicle for their spread.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.