Human adenovirus-associated health risk in the recreational waters of the Yal-ku lagoon in the Mexican Caribbean

Cecilia Hernández-Zepeda, Luis Jorge Negrete-Alcalde, Gabriela Rosiles-González, Victor Hugo Carrillo-Jovel, Sarah E. Abney, Walter Q. Betancourt, Charles P. Gerba, Cristóbal Chaidez-Quiroz, Amanda M. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study objective was to evaluate human faecal contamination impacts in the Yal-ku lagoon in the Mexican Caribbean and to estimate adenovirus infection and illness risks associated with recreational exposure during water activities. A total of 20 water samples (10 from each site X two sites) (50 L) were collected monthly over a period of 12 months from two selected sampling sites in the swimming area of the Yal-ku lagoon. The occurrence of faecal-associated viruses was explored, and human adenovirus (HAdV) and pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV) concentrations were quantified. A quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) model was used to estimate exposure and subsequent adenovirus infection and illness risk for 1 h of swimming or snorkelling. Somatic and F þ -specific coliphages occurred in 100% of the samples. Both HAdV and PMMoV were detected at a 60% frequency thereby indicating persistent faecal inputs. PMMoV concentrations (44–370 GC/L) were relatively lower than the concentrations of HAdV (64–1,000 GC/L). Estimated mean adenovirus risks were greater for snorkelling than for swimming by roughly one to two orders of magnitude and estimated mean illness risks for snorkelling were .32/1,000. Human faecal contamination is frequent in the Yal-ku lagoon, which is associated with human gastrointestinal illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-384
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Water and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024


  • adenovirus
  • coastal lagoon
  • exposure
  • recreational waters
  • risk
  • virus faecal markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Infectious Diseases


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