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Print version ISSN 0120-4157


PELAEZ, Dioselina et al. Presence of enteric viruses in water samples for consumption in Colombia: Challenges for supply systems . Biomédica [online]. 2016, vol.36, suppl.2, pp.169-178. ISSN 0120-4157.

Introduction: Since drinking water can be a vehicle for the transmission of pathogens, the detection of enteric viruses in these water samples is essential to establish the appropriate measures to control and prevent associated diseases. Objective: To analyze the results obtained for enteric viruses in water samples for human consumption received at the Colombian Instituto Nacional de Salud and establish their association with the data on water quality in Colombian municipalities. Materials and methods: We conducted a descriptive-retrospective analysis of the results obtained in the detection of rotavirus, enterovirus, hepatitis A virus and adenovirus in water samples received for complementary studies of enteric hepatitis, acute diarrheal disease and foodborne diseases. Data were correlated with the results of water quality surveillance determined by the national human consumption water quality index (IRCA). Results: Of the 288 samples processed from 102 Colombian municipalities, 50.7% were positive for viruses: 26.73% for hepatitis A virus, 20.48% for enterovirus and rotavirus and 18.05% for adenovirus. Viruses were detected in 48.26% of non-treated water samples and in 45.83% of treated water samples. The IRCA index showed no correlation with the presence of viruses. Conclusions: The presence of viruses in water represents a public health risk and, therefore, the prevention of virus transmission through water requires appropriate policies to reinforce water supply systems and improve epidemiological surveillance.

Keywords : Enterovirus; rotavirus; hepatitis A; water pollution; water supply.

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