Institute of Environmental Science and Research

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A 1-year study on the detection of human enteric viruses in New Caledonia

journal contribution
posted on 2019-08-12, 03:52 authored by Laetitia Kaas, Ann-Claire Gourinat, Florence Urbès, Jérémie Langlet
Human enteric viruses occur in high concentrations in wastewater and can contaminate receiving environmental waters. Due to the lack of data on the prevalence of enteric viruses in New Caledonia, the presence and the concentrations of enteric viruses in wastewater and seawater were determined. Untreated wastewater and seawater samples were collected monthly for 1 year from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and from the WWTP’s outlet, located directly on a popular recreational beach. Samples were tested for norovirus genogroups I and II (NoV GI and GII), rusesastrovi (AsV), sapoviruses (SaV), enteroviruses (EV), hepatitis A viruses (HAV), rotaviruses (RoV), human adenoviruses (HAdV) and human polyomaviruses (HPyV). To support these data, faecal samples from cases of gastroenteritis were tested for the first time for NoV and detected in the population. NoV GI, NoV GII, EV, SaV, HAdV and HPyV were detected in all wastewaters, RoV in 75 % and AsV in 67 %. HAV were not detected in wastewater. Overall, 92 % of seawater samples were positive for at least one virus. HPyV were detected most frequently in 92 % of samples and at concentrations up to 7.7 × 103 genome copies/L. NoV GI, NoV GII, EV, SaV, RoV and HAdV were found in 33, 66, 41, 33, 16 and 66 % of seawater samples, respectively. AsV were not detected in seawater. This study reports for the first time the presence of NoV and other enteric viruses in New Caledonia and highlights the year-round presence of enteric viruses in the seawater of a popular beach.


Pacific Fund of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, project No. 104-1-2012