A review on recent progress in the detection methods and prevalence of human enteric viruses in water

Eiji Haramoto, Masaaki Kitajima, Akihiko Hata, Jason R. Torrey, Yoshifumi Masago, Daisuke Sano, Hiroyuki Katayama

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

285 Citations (Scopus)


Waterborne human enteric viruses, such as noroviruses and adenoviruses, are excreted in the feces of infected individuals and transmitted via the fecal-oral route including contaminated food and water. Since viruses are normally present at low concentrations in aquatic environments, they should be concentrated into smaller volumes prior to downstream molecular biological applications, such as quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). This review describes recent progress made in the development of concentration and detection methods of human enteric viruses in water, and discusses their applications for providing a better understanding of the prevalence of the viruses in various types of water worldwide. Maximum concentrations of human enteric viruses in water that have been reported in previous studies are summarized to assess viral abundances in aquatic environments. Some descriptions are also available on recent applications of sequencing analyses used to determine the genetic diversity of viral genomes in water samples, including those of novel viruses. Furthermore, the importance and significance of utilizing appropriate process controls during viral analyses are discussed, and three types of process controls are considered: whole process controls, molecular process controls, and (reverse transcription (RT)-)qPCR controls. Although no standards have been established for acceptable values of virus recovery and/or extraction-(RT-)qPCR efficiency, use of at least one of these appropriate control types is highly recommended for more accurate interpretation of observed data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-186
Number of pages19
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 15


  • Human enteric viruses
  • Process control
  • Viral metagenomics
  • Virus detection method


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