The Water Virology External Quality Assurance (EQA) Scheme has distributed samples containing enterovirus to the specialised virus laboratories in Britain which analyse recreational water. Duplicate samples were either assayed for direct virus count or added to 101 of water, concentrated to 10ml and then assayed for virus counts. Although similar counts were obtained in different laboratories on direct assays, a wide range of virus counts was reported after water processing. However, robust attention to method detail and stringent quality control has been shown to improve the consistency of virus recovery rates. The results of tests for enterovirus in recreational water can then be used with confidence.

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