Genomic copy concentrations of selected waterborne viruses in a slum environment in Kampala, Uganda

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The presence of viruses in a slum environment where sanitation is poor is a major concern. However, little is known of their occurrence and genomic copy concentration in the slum environment. The main objective of this study was to determine the genomic copy concentrations of human adenoviruses F and G, Rotavirus (RV), Hepatitis A virus (HAV), Hepatitis E virus (HEV) and human adenovirus species A,C,D,E, and F (HAdV-ACDEF) in Bwaise III, a typical slum in Kampala, Uganda. Forty-one samples from surface water, grey water and ground water were collected from 30 sampling locations. The virus particles were recovered by glass wool filtration with elution using beef extract. DNA and RNA viruses were detected by the real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and the reverse transcription-qPCR (RT-qPCR), respectively. HAdV-F and G were detected in 70.7% of the samples with concentrations up to 2.65 × 101 genomic copies per mL (gc mL−1). RV and HAV were detected in 60.9% and 17.1% of the samples, respectively. The maximum concentration of RV was 1.87 × 102gc mL−1. In addition, 78% of the samples tested positive for the HAdV-ACDEF, but all samples tested negative for HEV. These new data are essential for quantitative microbial risk assessment, and for understanding the effects of environmental pollution in slums.

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