Assessment of the Virological Quality of Marine and Running Surface Waters in NW Greece: a Case Study

Kokkinos, P.; Karayanni, H.; Meziti, A.; Feidaki, R.; Paparrodopoulos, S.; Vantarakis, A.

Food and Environmental Virology 10(3): 316-326


ISSN/ISBN: 1867-0342
PMID: 29696605
DOI: 10.1007/s12560-018-9344-6
Accession: 050533950

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The virological quality of surface marine and running water samples collected from Igoumenitsa gulf and Kalamas river (NW Greece) was assessed from October 2012 to September 2013. Sampling sites were exposed to different land and/or anthropogenic effects. Seawater samples were collected monthly from five sampling stations (new harbor, old harbor, wastewater treatment plant outlet, protected Natura area, Drepano beach). Viral targets included human adenoviruses (hAdVs), as index human viruses, while noroviruses (NoVs) and hepatitis A virus (HAV) were also studied. Kalamas river samples were collected seasonally, from three sampling stations (Soulopoulo, Dam, Sagiada-estuaries), while viral targets included also porcine adenoviruses (pAdVs) and bovine polyoma viruses (bPyVs), as additional index viruses. All water samples were analyzed for standard bacterial indicators, as well. Physicochemical and meteorological data were also collected. Based on the standard bacterial indices, both sea and river water samples did not exceed the limits set according to Directive 2006/7/EU. However, positive samples for hAdVs were found occasionally in all sampling sites in Igoumenitsa gulf (23.3%, 14/60) showing fecal contamination of human origin. Moreover, HAV was detected once, in the sampling site of the old port (at 510 GC/L). Most of the Kalamas water samples were found positive for hAdVs (58.3%, 7/12), while human noroviruses GI (NoVGI) (8.3%, 1/12) and GII (NoVGII) (16.7%, 2/12) were also detected. HAV, pAdVs, and bovine polyomaviruses (bPyVs) were not detected in any of the analyzed samples. No statistically significant correlations were found between classic bacterial indicators and viral targets, nor between viruses and meteorological data. Overall, the present study contributed to the collection of useful data for the biomonitoring of the region, and the assessment of the overall impact of anthropogenic activities. It provided also valuable information for the evaluation of the risk of waterborne viral infections and the protection of public health. It was the first virological study in the area and one of the few in Greece.

Assessment of the Virological Quality of Marine and Running Surface Waters in NW Greece: a Case Study