Occurrence and persistence of enteroviruses, noroviruses and F-specific RNA phages in natural wastewater biofilms

Abstract : Enteroviruses and noroviruses are pathogenic viruses excreted by infected individuals. Discharged in wastewaters, some of these viruses can be captured by biofilms. In the present study, we assessed the occurrence and persistence of these viruses in wastewaters and in corresponding biofilms. Natural wastewaters and biofilms were analyzed monthly from January to July using real-time RT-PCR. Enterovirus RNA was detected in wastewater in June while norovirus RNA was detected from January to March. In contrast, biofilm analysis revealed the presence of both enterovirus and norovirus genomes throughout the study period. For instance, enterovirus and norovirus genogroups (GG) I and II were detected in 50, 46 and 37% of the biofilm samples, respectively (n = 24). In a laboratory experiment, persistence of norovirus GGI RNA (quantified using molecular techniques) and F-specific bacteriophages (quantified using both culture and molecular techniques) was assessed in wastewater and corresponding naturally-contaminated biofilms at both 4 and 20 °C. The concentrations of viral genomes (norovirus GGI and F-specific RNA phage) were very stable in biofilms. Indeed, no significant decrease was observed during the persistence experiment that lasted 49 days. Furthermore, regardless of our experimental conditions, viral genome and infectious F-specific bacteriophages persisted longer in biofilm than in wastewater. According to our results, wastewater biofilms may contribute to the persistence and dispersal of pathogenic viruses outside of epidemic periods.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 1:19:20 PM
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Sylvain Skraber, Leslie Ogorzaly, Karim Helmi, Armand Maul, Lucien Hoffmann, et al.. Occurrence and persistence of enteroviruses, noroviruses and F-specific RNA phages in natural wastewater biofilms. Water Research, IWA Publishing, 2009, 43 (19), pp.4780 - 4789. ⟨10.1016/j.watres.2009.05.020⟩. ⟨hal-01891200⟩

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