Food and Environmental Virology

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 40–51 | Cite as

Viability RT-qPCR Combined with Sodium Deoxycholate Pre-treatment for Selective Quantification of Infectious Viruses in Drinking Water Samples

  • Vu Duc CanhEmail author
  • Ikuro Kasuga
  • Hiroaki Furumai
  • Hiroyuki KatayamaEmail author
Original Paper


The presence of pathogenic viruses in drinking water is a major public health concern. Although viability RT-qPCR methods were developed to quantify infectious viruses, they may not always reflect viral infectivity, therefore leading to false-positive results. In this study, sodium deoxycholate (SD) pre-treatment was used to improve the efficiency of viability RT-qPCR methods with respect to exclusive quantification of infectious viruses. The ability of SD pre-treatment to enhance the penetration of three viability markers, namely, ethidium monoazide (EMA, 100 µM), propidium monoazide (PMA, 100 µM), and cis-dichlorodiammineplatinum (CDDP, 1000 µM), into heat-treated (90 °C for 1 min) Aichi virus at various concentrations (0.01–0.5%) was evaluated. The optimal SD concentration was found to be 0.1% for all markers. EMA/PMA/CDDP-RT-qPCR with 0.1% SD pre-treatment was significantly more effective than without SD pre-treatment in determining AiV inactivation after heat (50, 60, 70, 80, or 90 °C for 1 min) or chlorine treatment (1 mgCl2/L for 1, 2, 5, or 10 min). Among the viability RT-qPCR methods tested, CDDP-RT-qPCR with SD pre-treatment (SD-CDDP-RT-qPCR) was the most effective in reflecting viral infectivity. Performance testing of SD-CDDP-RT-qPCR in concentrated drinking water samples did not reveal any significant effects of SD-CDDP treatment. Thus, SD-CDDP-RT-qPCR could be a useful tool for monitoring infectious virus presence in drinking water.


Viability RT-qPCR Sodium deoxycholate Infectivity Drinking water Inhibitory effects 



This research was supported by the Bureau of Waterworks Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Health Labor Sciences Research Grant (H28-Kenki- Ippan-005) by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urban EngineeringThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Research Center for Water Environment TechnologyThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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