Food and Environmental Virology

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 316–326 | Cite as

Assessment of the Virological Quality of Marine and Running Surface Waters in NW Greece: A Case Study

  • Petros KokkinosEmail author
  • Hera Karayanni
  • Alexandra Meziti
  • Ria Feidaki
  • Spyros Paparrodopoulos
  • Apostolos Vantarakis
Original Paper


The virological quality of surface marine and running water samples collected from Igoumenitsa gulf and Kalamas river (NW Greece) was assessed from October 2012 to September 2013. Sampling sites were exposed to different land and/or anthropogenic effects. Seawater samples were collected monthly from five sampling stations (new harbor, old harbor, wastewater treatment plant outlet, protected Natura area, Drepano beach). Viral targets included human adenoviruses (hAdVs), as index human viruses, while noroviruses (NoVs) and hepatitis A virus (HAV) were also studied. Kalamas river samples were collected seasonally, from three sampling stations (Soulopoulo, Dam, Sagiada-estuaries), while viral targets included also porcine adenoviruses (pAdVs) and bovine polyoma viruses (bPyVs), as additional index viruses. All water samples were analyzed for standard bacterial indicators, as well. Physicochemical and meteorological data were also collected. Based on the standard bacterial indices, both sea and river water samples did not exceed the limits set according to Directive 2006/7/EU. However, positive samples for hAdVs were found occasionally in all sampling sites in Igoumenitsa gulf (23.3%, 14/60) showing fecal contamination of human origin. Moreover, HAV was detected once, in the sampling site of the old port (at 510 GC/L). Most of the Kalamas water samples were found positive for hAdVs (58.3%, 7/12), while human noroviruses GI (NoVGI) (8.3%, 1/12) and GII (NoVGII) (16.7%, 2/12) were also detected. HAV, pAdVs, and bovine polyomaviruses (bPyVs) were not detected in any of the analyzed samples. No statistically significant correlations were found between classic bacterial indicators and viral targets, nor between viruses and meteorological data. Overall, the present study contributed to the collection of useful data for the biomonitoring of the region, and the assessment of the overall impact of anthropogenic activities. It provided also valuable information for the evaluation of the risk of waterborne viral infections and the protection of public health. It was the first virological study in the area and one of the few in Greece.


Virological quality Human adenovirus Norovirus Hepatitis A virus Bacterial indicators Igoumenitsa Gulf Kalamas river Northwestern Greece 



We are grateful to President Mr. Kominos and the personnel of the Management Body of Straits and Estuaries of the Rivers Acheron and Kalamas for their excellent collaboration during the course of the project as well as to Igoumenitsa Port Authority S.A. for their support. Efstathia Kougia MSc analyzed water samples for the classic bacterial indicators. We thank Dr. Stelios Kazadzis (Institute for Environmental Research & Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens), for the provision of UV Ozone monitoring instrument daily satellite data. This work was co-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund- ERDF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program “THESSALY- MAINLAND GREECE AND EPIRUS-2007-2013” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF 2007–2013) (2012–2015).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petros Kokkinos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hera Karayanni
    • 2
  • Alexandra Meziti
    • 2
  • Ria Feidaki
    • 1
  • Spyros Paparrodopoulos
    • 1
  • Apostolos Vantarakis
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Microbiology Unit (EMU), Laboratory of Hygiene, Department of MedicineUniversity of PatrasPatraGreece
  2. 2.Department of Biological Applications and TechnologyUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece

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