Occurrence of rotaviruses and enteroviruses in recreational waters of Oak Creek, Arizona

Joan B. Rose, Rebecca L. Mullinax, Shri N. Singh, Marylynn V. Yates, Charles P. Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Recent epidemiological studies have shown a relationship between swimming in recreational waters meeting bacteriological standards and gastroenteritis with a suggested viral etiology. No previous studies have been conducted in the United States on the occurrence of human pathogenic enteric viruses in freshwater recreational areas. The presence of enteroviruses and rotaviruses was investigated in Oak Creek, Arizona, a heavily used recreational area. Water samples were filtered through positively charged filters (168-1555 I.), eluted with beef extract, and assayed for human enteroviruses and rotaviruses. Eighteen of the 41 recreational water samples were positive for enterovirus or rotavirus. Of these, nine samples exceeded the Arizona State recommended limit of 1 PFU 40 l-1 for full body contact in effluent dominated recreational waters. Several virus positive samples met the recommended fecal coliform standards (200 CFU 100 ml-1) for recreational waters indicating the inadequacy of bacterial standards for monitoring viral water quality. The isolation of the pathogenic enteric viruses (i.e., poliovirus 1, echovirus 1, coxsackievirus B1 and B6 and rotavirus) from this popular recreational water demonstrates the potential for transmission of viral disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1375-1381
Number of pages7
JournalWater research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1987


  • Arizona
  • enteric viruses
  • indicator bacteria
  • recreational waters
  • rotavirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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