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Inadequately Treated Wastewater as a Source of Human Enteric Viruses in the Environment

Author(s): Anthony I. Okoh | Thulani Sibanda | Siyabulela S. Gusha

Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ISSN 1660-4601

Volume: 7;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 2620;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: wastewater | enteric viruses | gastrointestinal tract

Human enteric viruses are causative agents in both developed and developing countries of many non-bacterial gastrointestinal tract infections, respiratory tract infections, conjunctivitis, hepatitis and other more serious infections with high morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised individuals such as meningitis, encephalitis and paralysis. Human enteric viruses infect and replicate in the gastrointestinal tract of their hosts and are released in large quantities in the stools of infected individuals. The discharge of inadequately treated sewage effluents is the most common source of enteric viral pathogens in aquatic environments. Due to the lack of correlation between the inactivation rates of bacterial indicators and viral pathogens, human adenoviruses have been proposed as a suitable index for the effective indication of viral contaminants in aquatic environments. This paper reviews the major genera of pathogenic human enteric viruses, their pathogenicity and epidemiology, as well as the role of wastewater effluents in their transmission.
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Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona