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Evaluation of Human Enteric Viruses in Surface Water and Drinking Water Resources in Southern Ghana

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  • Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Division of Environmental Health Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Center for Water and Health, Baltimore, Maryland

An estimated 884 million people worldwide do not have access to an improved drinking water source, and the microbial quality of these sources is often unknown. In this study, a combined tangential flow, hollow fiber ultrafiltration (UF), and real-time PCR method was applied to large volume (100 L) groundwater (N = 4), surface water (N = 9), and finished (i.e., receiving treatment) drinking water (N = 6) samples for the evaluation of human enteric viruses and bacterial indicators. Human enteric viruses including norovirus GI and GII, adenovirus, and polyomavirus were detected in five different samples including one groundwater, three surface water, and one drinking water sample. Total coliforms and Escherichia coli assessed for each sample before and after UF revealed a lack of correlation between bacterial indicators and the presence of human enteric viruses.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Kellogg J. Schwab, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Division of Environmental Health Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Center for Water and Health, 615 N. Wolfe St., Room E6620, Baltimore, MD 21205-2103. E-mail: kschwab@jhsph.edu

Financial support: This study was supported by a USEPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Grant (R833002), the Osprey Foundation of Maryland, The Johns Hopkins Global Water Program, and The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for a Livable Future. K.E.G. is a Center for a Livable Future Predoctoral Fellow. The views expressed herein have not been subjected to USEPA review and therefore, do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency; no official endorsement should be inferred.

Authors' addresses: Kristen E. Gibson, Division of Agriculture, Department of Food Science, University of Arkansas and Center for Food Safety, Fayetteville, AR, E-mail: keg005@uark.edu. Melissa C. Opryszko, James Schissler, Yayi Guo, and Kellogg J. Schwab, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Division of Environmental Health Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Center for Water and Health, Baltimore, MD, E-mails: mopryszk@jhsph.edu, jschissl@jhsph.edu, yguo@jhsph.edu, and kschwab@jhsph.edu.

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