Occurrence of rota- and enteroviruses in drinking and environmental water in a developing nation

Thomas R. Deetz, Eric M. Smith, Sagar M. Goyal, Charles P. Gerba, John J. Vollet, Liane Tsai, Herbert L. DuPont, Bruce H. Keswick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Rotaviruses have been implicated as a major cause of childhood and traveler's diarrhea in developing countries. Since water is known to be a vehicle of transmission of other enteric viruses, we sought to determine if water could play a role in the transmission of rotavirus infections in a developing nation by applying recently developed techniques for the concentration of viruses from tapwater and environmental (lake, river, ocean and aqueduct) water in Mexico. In an initial survey during the rainy season in August 1978, rotavirus was detected in 10 of 10 drinking water samples and coxsackie B4 or B6 virus in 5 of 10. In a larger survey during the dry season in December 1979, rotavirus was recovered from 3 and enteric viruses from 8 of 21 drinking water samples. Water quality data, available for the 1979 survey, indicated that while many tapwater samples did not meet U.S. coliform standards, some samples containing infectious virus did. Our data suggest that current bacteriological water quality standards for potable water do not reflect viral contamination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-571
Number of pages5
JournalWater research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1984


  • coliforms
  • drinking water
  • enteroviruses
  • rotavirus
  • standards
  • water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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