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High occurrence of hepatitis E virus in samples from wastewater treatment plants in Switzerland and comparison with other enteric viruses


Masclaux, Frédéric G; Hotz, Philipp; Friedli, Drita; Savova-Bianchi, Dessislava; Oppliger, Anne (2013). High occurrence of hepatitis E virus in samples from wastewater treatment plants in Switzerland and comparison with other enteric viruses. Water research, 47(14):5101-5109.

Abstract

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is responsible for many enterically transmitted viral hepatitides around the world. It is currently one of the waterborne diseases of global concern. In industrialized countries, HEV appears to be more common than previously thought, even if it is rarely virulent. In Switzerland, seroprevalence studies revealed that HEV is endemic, but no information was available on its environmental spread. The aim of this study was to investigate -using qPCR- the occurrence and concentration of HEV and three other viruses (norovirus genogroup II, human adenovirus-40 and porcine adenovirus) in influents and effluents of 31 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Switzerland. Low concentrations of HEV were detected in 40 out of 124 WWTP influent samples, showing that HEV is commonly present in this region. The frequency of HEV occurrence was higher in summer than in winter. No HEV was detected in WWTP effluent samples, which indicates a low risk of environmental contamination. HEV occurrence and concentrations were lower than those of norovirus and adenovirus. The autochthonous HEV genotype 3 was found in all positive samples, but a strain of the non-endemic and highly pathogenic HEV genotype I was isolated in one sample, highlighting the possibility of environmental circulation of this genotype. A porcine fecal marker (porcine adenovirus) was not detected in HEV positive samples, indicating that swine are not the direct source of HEV present in wastewater. Further investigations will be necessary to determine the reservoirs and the routes of dissemination of HEV.

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is responsible for many enterically transmitted viral hepatitides around the world. It is currently one of the waterborne diseases of global concern. In industrialized countries, HEV appears to be more common than previously thought, even if it is rarely virulent. In Switzerland, seroprevalence studies revealed that HEV is endemic, but no information was available on its environmental spread. The aim of this study was to investigate -using qPCR- the occurrence and concentration of HEV and three other viruses (norovirus genogroup II, human adenovirus-40 and porcine adenovirus) in influents and effluents of 31 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Switzerland. Low concentrations of HEV were detected in 40 out of 124 WWTP influent samples, showing that HEV is commonly present in this region. The frequency of HEV occurrence was higher in summer than in winter. No HEV was detected in WWTP effluent samples, which indicates a low risk of environmental contamination. HEV occurrence and concentrations were lower than those of norovirus and adenovirus. The autochthonous HEV genotype 3 was found in all positive samples, but a strain of the non-endemic and highly pathogenic HEV genotype I was isolated in one sample, highlighting the possibility of environmental circulation of this genotype. A porcine fecal marker (porcine adenovirus) was not detected in HEV positive samples, indicating that swine are not the direct source of HEV present in wastewater. Further investigations will be necessary to determine the reservoirs and the routes of dissemination of HEV.

Citations

17 citations in Web of Science®
15 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 08:31
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:59
Publisher:IWA Publishing
ISSN:0043-1354
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2013.05.050
PubMed ID:23866141

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