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Detection of Human Adenovirus, Rotavirus, and Enterovirus in Tap Water and Their Association with the Overall Quality of Water in Karachi, Pakistan


Drinking water supplies in the developing world often serve as a biosphere for various organisms. Viral gastroenteritis is a neglected area of research in Pakistan, there are no data for the prevalence of enteric viruses in drinking water of the largest city of Karachi. The present study aimed to provide a survey of the existence of enteric viruses: human adenovirus (HAdV), human enteroviruses (hEV), and genotype A rotavirus (GARV) in tap water. Using a simple PCR approach, we detected 20%, 43%, and 23% of HAdV, hEV, and GARV in tap water samples, respectively. We have also shown an overall quality deficit of tap water at the pumping station and consumer tap. We have found no sample free from bacterial contaminations. The ranges for a total number of the heterotrophic plate count and coliform were found 8.7 × 102–4.5 × 106 CFU/mL and 210 to uncountable coliforms/100 mL, respectively. Moreover, we assessed the efficiency of small-scale water treatment methods for the removal of viruses.

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The authors would like to thank Dr. Fernando Rosado Spilki for his generous support in this project by providing viral DNA. Financial support from the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi, Pakistan, through an institutional fund for the Young Researcher Support Program is gratefully acknowledged.


The research was carried out with the financial support from the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi, Pakistan under the program of Young Researcher Support Program.

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Correspondence to Muhammad Rashid.

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Rashid, M., Khan, M.N. & Jalbani, N. Detection of Human Adenovirus, Rotavirus, and Enterovirus in Tap Water and Their Association with the Overall Quality of Water in Karachi, Pakistan. Food Environ Virol 13, 44–52 (2021).

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  • Tap water
  • Human adenovirus
  • Enteroviruses
  • Rotavirus
  • Viral gastroenteritis