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Quality Assurance for Methods to Detect Human Enteric Viruses in Drinking Water

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Abstract:Surface or groundwaters impacted by untreated or inadequately treated domestic wastes may contain human pathogenic viruses that cause hepatitis, gastroenteritis, meningitis, encephalitis, myocarditis, diabetes, conjunctivitis and temporary or permanent paralysis. These viruses can and do cause outbreaks of waterborne disease. Of the 647 waterborne outbreaks that occurred in the U.S. between 1971 and 1996, 370 or 57 percent, involving 51,233 cases of illness, were caused by viruses or assumed to be caused by viruses. However, the disease burden to a community is generaly considered to be much higher than the number from reported outbreaks. Better estimates of the disease burden are needed in order to adequately protect the public. The use of occurrence studies is a common way to provide a better estimate.

The most widely used method to perform occurrence studies on human enteric viruses in surface or drinking waters is the standard total culturable virus assay. This method detects a number of virus types that are endemic in many communities. Molecular methods have also been developed to detect these and other virus types that cause waterborne disease. All standard and molecular assays can generate false positive and false negative results. Minimizing these false results requires a good laboratory quality assurance program. The minimum quality assurance procedures that should be used with virus monitoring methods will be described.
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Citation:Fout, G. S. Quality Assurance for Methods to Detect Human Enteric Viruses in Drinking Water. Presented at Symposium on Viruses in Drinking Water, Seoul, Korea, October 6-14, 2000.
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Contact: Mary P. O'Bryant - (919)-541-4871 or obriant.mary@epa.gov
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Division: Microbiological & Chemical Exposure Assessment Division
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Branch: Biohazard Assessment Research Branch
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 10/14/2000
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Detecting Ccl-Related, Emerging Waterborne Human Viruses and Viral Indicators for Exposure Assessment
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
URL: http://cfpub.epa.gov