Food and Environmental Virology

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 9–19 | Cite as

Detection of Norovirus and Rotavirus Present in Suspended and Dissolved Forms in Drinking Water Sources

  • Takayuki MiuraEmail author
  • Arisa Gima
  • Michihiro Akiba
Original Paper


We investigated the present forms of genogroup II norovirus and group A rotavirus in surface water used for drinking water production. River water samples (N = 15) collected at a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) monthly from June 2017 to August 2018 were fractioned by filtration through 10- and 0.45-μm-pore-size membranes, and viruses present in suspended and dissolved forms were quantitatively detected. Norovirus GII was present in > 10-μm- and 0.45–10-μm-suspended and dissolved forms with detection rates of 33%, 60%, and 87%, respectively. Rotavirus A was detected more frequently than norovirus GII in each form (> 10 μm suspended, 73%; 0.45–10 μm suspended, 93%; dissolved, 100%). We also analyzed surface water samples from 21 DWTPs all over Japan in non-epidemic and epidemic seasons of gastroenteritis. Norovirus GII was detected in 48% and 81% of samples with the concentrations of up to 4.1 and 5.3 log10 copies/L in dissolved form in non-epidemic and epidemic seasons, respectively, and GII.4 Sydney 2012 was predominant genotype followed by GII.2. Rotavirus A was detected in 95% and 86% of samples with the maximum concentrations of 5.5 and 6.3 log10 copies/L in dissolved form in respective seasons. Concentration of norovirus GII was similar in 0.45–10-μm suspended and dissolved forms, while there was a significant difference for rotavirus A (P < 0.01, pared t test), indicating that rotavirus A was less associated with suspended solids in the surface water samples compared to norovirus GII. Our observations provide important implications for understanding of viral behavior in environmental waters.


Norovirus Rotavirus Suspended solids Adsorption Surface water Drinking water source 



We are very grateful to people in the 21 waterworks in Japan for their great effort in providing the source water samples. We also thank Nobuko Maeda and Nobuyo Yoshida (National Institute of Public Health), Naoko Arakawa (Kushiro City), Nariko Shinohara (Chiba Prefecture), and Satoshi Matsumura (Suita City) for their technical assistance. This study was supported in part by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science through KAKENHI (17K14752) and by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, Japan through a Health and Labor Sciences Research Grant (H28-Kenki-Ippan-005).

Supplementary material

12560_2018_9361_MOESM1_ESM.docx (352 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 352 KB)


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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental HealthNational Institute of Public HealthWakoJapan
  2. 2.National Institute of Public HealthWakoJapan

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