The First Detection of Human Bocavirus Species 2 and 3 in Raw Sewage and Mussels in South Africa

  • Oikwathaile Onosi
  • Nicole S. UpfoldEmail author
  • Michael D. Jukes
  • Garry A. Luke
  • Caroline Knox
Brief Communication


Human bocavirus (HBoV) has a global distribution and is associated with respiratory and enteric infections, particularly in the paediatric population. In this study, raw sewage and mussel samples were analysed for the presence of HBoV using nested PCR with primers targeting the VP1/VP2 junction. Amplification and sequencing of the 382 bp region followed by phylogenetic analysis indicated the presence of HBoV 2 in mussel samples and HBoV 3 in sewage samples. This is the first report describing the presence of enteric-associated HBoV in environmental samples from South Africa and in mussel samples from the African continent. The results signify the need for further studies examining the potential risk of foodborne transmission of HBoV and highlight the importance of continued screening to determine the prevalence and epidemiology of HBoV in South Africa.


Human bocavirus Parvoviridae Wastewater Shellfish Enteric 



This work was supported by Medical Research Council (MRC, South Africa) and Research Council (RC, Rhodes University) grants. OO was supported by the Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health and wellness, Botswana. NU was supported by postgraduate fellowships from the National Research Foundation of South Africa and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The content of this publication is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent official views of the funders.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

Ethics approval for this work was not required as the study only involved invertebrates.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and MicrobiologyRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Centre for Biomolecular Sciences, School of Biology, Biomolecular Sciences BuildingUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsScotland, UK

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