Food and Environmental Virology

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 218–224 | Cite as

Detection of GI and GII Noroviruses in Ground Water Using Ultrafiltration and TaqMan Real-time RT-PCR

  • Vincent R. HillEmail author
  • Bonnie Mull
  • Narayanan Jothikumar
  • Karen Ferdinand
  • Jan Vinjé
Original Paper


Noroviruses (NoVs) are a leading cause of epidemic and sporadic acute gastrointestinal illness globally. These viruses can potentially contaminate rural private wells and non-community drinking water systems, and cause waterborne disease outbreaks related to consumption of contaminated ground water. Detection of NoVs in water samples can be challenging because they are genetically and antigenically diverse, and noncultivable. In the present study, the detection limits of a novel broadly reactive GI assay and an existing GII NoV real-time TaqMan reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) assay in ground water concentrates was determined. Ground water samples (50 l) from two sources (Lawrenceville, GA and Gainesville, FL, USA) were seeded with electron microscopy-enumerated and RT-qPCR quantified NoV and concentrated using hollow-fiber ultrafiltration (UF) followed by either polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation or microconcentrators. Detection limits for GI NoV ranged from 1 × 104 (GA source) to 2 × 105 (FL source) virus particles in 50 l water samples (corresponding to 200–3,000 particles/l) and 5 × 104 (GA source) to 5 × 105 (FL source) virus particles (corresponding to 1,000–10,000 particles/l) for GII NoV. The reported UF method, sample processing procedures, and RT-qPCR assays should be effective tools for sensitive detection of NoVs in large-volume water samples.


Norovirus Ground water Ultrafiltration Real-time RT-PCR 



We thank Charles Humphrey (CDC) for performing electron microscopy. This publication was supported in part by funds made available through CDCs Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response. The use of trade names and names of commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The findings and conclusions in this presentation are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the CDC. This article received clearance through the appropriate channels at the CDC prior to submission.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent R. Hill
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bonnie Mull
    • 1
    • 3
  • Narayanan Jothikumar
    • 1
  • Karen Ferdinand
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jan Vinjé
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental DiseasesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious DiseasesAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Viral DiseasesCDC, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory DiseasesAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Atlanta Research and Education FoundationAtlantaUSA

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