Enteroviruses were specifically detected by dot blot hybridization when using poliovirus type 1 (PV1) derived subgenomic radiolabeled cRNA probes (riboprobes) in environmental water specimens and in the cell cultures in which the viruses were amplificated. The riboprobe corresponding to the 5' noncoding sequence detected the majority of enteroviruses. Hepatitis A virus (HAV) was specifically detected by an HAV cRNA probe corresponding to the 5' noncoding region of its genome. By this test, the limit of detection of coxsackievirus B5 and echovirus 7 seeded in mineral water was 103 to 104 PFU/spot. In cell cultures, positive signals were observed in the lysates of cells infected by one PFU. Higher positive signals were obtained with a short PV1 probe (nt 221-670) corresponding to the 5' noncoding region, which is a well preserved sequence among the enteroviruses, than with PV1 genomic probe. Hybridization allowed a good detection of enteroviral RNAs in wastewater specimens, but with a lower efficiency in surface water. In this case, amplification of viruses in the cell cultures gave significant hybridization results.

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