Molecular detection of viruses associated with diarrhea in tap water

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Detection and characterization of viruses associated with diarrhea in tap water by the multiplex reverse transcription semi-nested PCR

More than a billion diarrheal cases occur each year among children below 5 years resulting in high morbidity and mortality.

Treated water which has been identified as a route of transmission has not been investigated in Ghana.

Since the presence of viruses in drinking water is unacceptable a virological survey to detect and characterize rotavirus, norovirus and astrovirus was conducted on tap water in West Accra.

Treated water samples were collected from 5 zones within the distribution network of Weija Head works.

Two litres of each sample was concentrated 4000 fold and viruses which had adsorbed to the filtre were eluted with beef extract containing glycine.

Viral RNA was extracted from all concentrates using phenol/chloroform, purified with RNaid®kit and reverse transcribed.

The cDNA was amplified by nested PCR using specific primers and analyzed on agarose gel.

The mean pH of samples determined was 8.0.

Rotavirus was detected in 48.1% of samples.

Of 10 samples selected, 4 were positive for GI norovirus and 3 for astrovirus.

The detection pattern showed increased viral pollution with distance from the plant and areas with high human activity and that disinfection is inadequate.

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