Detection Method for Avian Influenza Viruses in Water
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- Rönnqvist, M., Ziegler, T., von Bonsdorff, CH. et al. Food Environ Virol (2012) 4: 26. doi:10.1007/s12560-011-9075-4
Recent events have shown that humans may become infected with some pathogenic avian influenza A viruses (AIV). Since soil and water, including lakes, rivers, and seashores, may be contaminated by AIV excreted by birds, effective methods are needed for monitoring water for emerging viruses. Combining water filtration with molecular methods such as PCR is a fast and effective way for detecting viruses. The objective of this study was to apply a convenient method for the detection of AIV in natural water samples. Distilled water and lake, river, and seawater were artificially contaminated with AIV (H5N3) and passed through a filter system. AIV was detected from filter membrane by real-time RT-PCR. The performance of Zetapor, SMWP, and Sartobind D5F membranes in recovering influenza viruses was first evaluated using contaminated distilled water. SWMP, which gave the highest virus recoveries, was then compared with a pre-filter combined GF/F filter membrane in a trial using natural water samples. In this study, the cellulose membrane SMWP was found to be practical for recovery of AIVs in water. Viral yields varied between 62.1 and 65.9% in distilled water and between 1 and 16.7% in natural water samples. The borosilicate glass membrane GF/F combined with pre-filter was also feasible in filtering natural water samples with viral yields from 1.98 to 7.33%. The methods described can be used for monitoring fresh and seawater samples for the presence of AIV and to determine the source of AIV transmission in an outbreak situation.