EKU Faculty and Staff Scholarship


Occurrence of Human Enteric Viruses at Freshwater Beaches During Swimming Season and its Link to Water Inflow

Author ORCID Identifier

Jason MarionORCID iD iconhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5177-889X


Environmental Health Science

Document Type


Publication Date



Human enteric viruses are significant etiological agents for many recreational waterborne illnesses. The occurrence and density of human enteric viruses such as human adenovirus (HAdV), human enterovirus (HEnV), and human norovirus genogroups I/II (HNoV GI/GII) were investigated using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) at freshwater beaches along with monitoring fecal indicators and environmental parameters. During the 2009 swimming season, water samples were collected from three inland freshwater beaches in Ohio, USA. Of the total samples, 40% (26/65) and 17% (11/65) were positive for HAdV and HEnV respectively, but HNoV GI/GII were not detected. There was no significant association among the detected human enteric viruses (HAdV and HEnV) and fecal bacteria indicators (Escherichia coli and Bacteroides) by Spearman correlation and principal component analyses. Logistic regression analysis also revealed that the odds of finding HAdV or HEnV was not influenced by levels of fecal bacteria indicators. However, there was a 14-fold increase in the odds of HEnV detection for each 1-log increase in daily water inflow (m3/s) into freshwater beach reservoirs (adjusted odds ratio = 14.2; 95% confidence interval = 1.19–171). In summary, the viral occurrence at the freshwater beaches was not readily explained by the levels of fecal bacteria indicators, but appeared to be more related to water reservoir inflows. These results suggest that hydrological data must be considered in future epidemiology efforts aimed at characterizing beach water safety.

Journal Title

Science of the Total Environment

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