Water contamination by human viruses is well established as is the waterborne transmission of human viruses to the human with resulting disease. It is also well known that forms of life other than the human carry viruses of human and non-human origin and these too in some instances are known to transmit disease to the human. What is not well understood and has not been studied in any detail is the occurrence in water of viruses derived from sources other than the human. It would appear, from the information available, that human disease as a result of water transmission of non-human viruses has been inconsequential. This review, however, probes the various sources of non-human viruses and attempts to demonstrate the potential for direct and indirect causation of human disease as well as the indirect effect on the human by virtue of possible effects on other animal and plant life. Viruses from non-human sources are described, their recognized infectivity indicated, and an attempt is made to describe the implications of these findings.

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