Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 30, pp 30497–30507 | Cite as

Quantification of human adenovirus and norovirus in river water in the north-east of France

  • Maryse Iris Sedji
  • Mihayl Varbanov
  • Marie Meo
  • Marius Colin
  • Laurence Mathieu
  • Isabelle BertrandEmail author
Research Article


Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) are a major cause of infection and have been proposed as viral indicators of water quality. Human noroviruses (NoV) are the main cause of viral acute gastroenteritis. Quantitative data on the environmental prevalence of both viruses are needed. The genomes of HAdVs enteric adenovirus type 41 (HAdV41) and noroviruses of genogroups I and II (NoV GGI and GGII) were quantified over a 6-month period in a river located in north-eastern France. The samples were collected downstream from the discharge of a wastewater treatment plant. The viruses were concentrated using a glass wool method and the viral genomes were quantified using digital droplet PCR (ddPCR). All river water samples (15/15) were positive for the genomes of HAdVs, HAdV41, NoV GGI and NoV GGII. Concentrations of HAdVs, HAdV41 and NoV GII genomes were similar and HAdV41 represented ~ 80% of HAdVs. Infectious HAdVs were quantified in these samples using an integrated cell culture-quantitative PCR method (ICC-qPCR); they were detected in 93% (14/15) and quantified in 53% (8/15) of the samples. Thus, infectious HAdVs represented 0.3 to 12.2% of total HAdV particles detected by ddPCR. Infectious HAdV41 particles were found in 73% (11/15) of the samples. This common presence of pathogenic enteric viruses underlines the impact of wastewater discharge on quality of surface waters and may constitute a threat for human health. The relative abundance of genome of HAdV41 underlines the need for studies focusing on the specific detection of its infectious forms along water cycle.


Adenovirus type 41 Norovirus River water Genome Infectivity ICC-qPCR Quantification 



The authors thank Leslie Ogorzaly for her contribution in the quantification of HAdV41 genome, Romain Rivet for his excellent technical assistance in ddPCR assays and Coline Wietrich for her contribution to the ddPCR analyses.

Funding information

The present work was financially supported by the Institut Jean Barriol (CNRS and Université de Lorraine). Complementary financial support was obtained from Zone Atelier Moselle (ZAM).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3045_Fig5_ESM.png (1.1 mb)
Figure 1

Sampling point in the river Meurthe in the metropolitan area of Nancy. Black arrow = discharge of treated wastewater in the river. Red star = sampling point in the river (PNG 1163 kb)

11356_2018_3045_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université de Lorraine, CNRS, LCPME (Laboratoire de Chimie Physique et Microbiologie pour les Matériaux et l’Environnement)NancyFrance
  2. 2.Université de Lorraine, CNRS, L2CM (Laboratoire Lorrain de Chimie Moléculaire)NancyFrance
  3. 3.EPHE, PSL Research University, LCPMENancyFrance

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