Report No FR0083
SURVIVAL OF NON-CULTIVATABLE HUMAN ROTAVIRUS
IN SEAWATER EXPOSED TO ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
To establish a survival curve for human rotavirus in marine water under controlled conditions of light and temperature which simulate field conditions, and to calculate associated T90 values.
Rotavirus is recognised as a major cause of severe infantile diarrhoea and can also cause gastroenteritis in adults. Sea outfalls are currently designed to meet bacterial, rather than viral, standards. In order to improve the effectiveness of sewage treatment and disposal, more information is needed on the fate and inactivation of viruses in the sea, and the effectiveness of different means of sewage treatment in removing viruses.
A more accurate assessment of the survival of human rotavirus in saline waters could be obtained from in situ studies. However, this type of study has many inherent difficulties and so the following recommendations were made to improve the enclosed system used to assess rotavirus survival:
V RESUME OF CONTENTS
This report reviews the literature concerning factors affecting the viability of human virus in the marine environment. Little data appear to exist on the survival of human rotaviruses in the marine environment. Because of the apparently ubiquitous nature of rotaviruses, together with their pathogenic properties, it is important that their survival characteristics in the marine environment are established.
Laboratory-based experiments in which non-cultivatable human rotavirus was exposed to artificial light in seawater are described. From the results tentative T90 values for human rotavirus in seawater, both when exposed to artificial light and in the dark were calculated. The limitations of laboratory measurements are discussed and recommendations made as to how the experimental design might be improved.
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