Microbial Source Tracking Analysis Using Viral Indicators in Santa Lucía and Uruguay Rivers, Uruguay
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The aim of this study was to determine the origin (human, bovine or porcine) and the concentration of the fecal sources of contamination in waters from Santa Lucía basin and Uruguay River in Uruguay by using host-specific viral markers (adenoviruses and polyomaviruses) as microbial source tracking (MST). Between June 2015 and May 2016, monthly collections of surface water samples were performed in six sites in Santa Lucía basin and four sites in Uruguay River (n = 120 samples). Viral concentration was carried out using an absorption-elution method. Detection and quantification of human and porcine adenovirus (HAdV and PAdV, respectively) and human and bovine polyomavirus (HPyV and BoPyV, respectively) were performed by quantitative PCR (qPCR). To evaluate the infectivity of circulating HAdV, an integrated cell culture-qPCR (ICC-qPCR) was used. A logistic regression analysis was carried out to estimate the influence of environmental variables on the virus presence in surface waters. Overall, HAdV was the prevalent (18%; 21/120) followed by BoPyV (11%; 13/120) and HPyV (3%; 3/120), whereas PAdV was not detected in this study. The mean concentration ranged from 1.5 × 104 genomic copies/L (gc/L) for HAdV to 1.8 × 102 gc/L for HPyV. Infective HAdVs were observed in two out of ten analyzed samples. A significant effect of environmental temperature (p = 0.001) and river (p = 0.012) on the presence of human viruses was found. These results suggest that fecal contamination could affect the water quality of these rivers, showing deficiencies in the procedure of sewage discharge from regional cities, livestock and dairy farms.
KeywordsMST Adenovirus Polyomavirus Fecal contamination Surface waters Uruguay
We want to thank to the “Comisión Sectorial de Investigación Científica”, Project I + D 2014 (ID 287), Universidad de la República, Uruguay, for the financial support.
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