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THE KEY VIRAL PLAYERS
Fout, G S. THE KEY VIRAL PLAYERS. Presented at EPA Workshop for Development of Protocols for Reliable Genetic Methods for Viruses for Use in EPA's Drinking Water Program, Cincinnati, OH, January 15-16, 2003.
Overarching Objectives and Links to Multi-Year Planning
This task directly supports the 2003 Drinking Water Research Program Multi-Year Plan's long term goal 1 for "regulated contaminants" and long term goal 2 for "unregulated contaminants and innovative approaches" under GRPA Goal 2 (Clean and Safe Water). The overarching objective is to provide the Office of Water, Agency risk assessors and managers, academics, the scientific community, state regulators, water industry and industry spokes-groups the methods they need to measure occurrence of waterborne viral pathogens. The methods developed will improve the quality of risk-based assessments and tools used by the Agency to set regulations, policies and priorities for protecting human health and will allow the Agency to assure the public that the appropriate methods are being used to demonstrate that drinking water is safe from pathogenic agents.
Specific Subtask Objectives:
o Evaluate techniques for enhancement of growth of human enteric viruses in support of CCL #2 and #3 and for use in the UCMR (Subtask A; to be completed by 9/05 in support of LTG 2)
o Develop a multiplex RT-PCR method that incorporates internal controls for use in the UCMR (Subtask B; completed 9/03 in support of LTG 2)
o Develop and evaluate new molecular technologies for use in the UCMR. Included will be real-time RT-PCR methods for Norwalk virus and astroviruses, and integrated cell culture/molecular procedures for detection of infectious viruses (Subtask B; to be completed by 9/05 in support of LTG 2)
A number of different types of human enteric viruses cause waterborne outbreaks when individuals are exposed to contaminated drinking and recreational waters. Members of the enterovirus group cause numerous diseases, including gastroenteritis, encephalitis, meningitis, myocarditis, temporary paralysis and perhaps diabetes and chronic fatigue syndrome. Hepatitis A and more recently hepatitis E have caused large waterborne hepatitis outbreaks. The second leading cause of illness in the United States is acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis. This disease results from infection of susceptible individuals with members of the Caliciviridae, Astroviridae, Reoviridae and Adenoviridae families. The characteristics of these enteric virus groups will be discussed.