Gastroenteric virus dissemination and influence of rainfall events in urban beaches in Brazil




This study was conducted to assess rotavirus A (RV-A), genogroup II (GII) norovirus (NoV), and human adenovirus (HAdV) dissemination in recreational water in an urban beach located in the city of Rio de Janeiro and their persistence during rainfall events.

Methods and Results

Viruses, including bacteriophage (PP7), used as internal control, were concentrated, reverse transcribed and quantified by a low-cost method based on organic flocculation with skimmed milk coupled with quantitative polymerase chain reaction protocols. The analysis of 74 superficial water samples obtained during 6 months of monitoring detected HAdV (66%), RV-A (37%) and GII NoV (14%), with a mean viral load of 4·1 log10 genome copies l−1 (g.c. l−1), 4·3 log10 g.c l−1 and 3·8 log10 g.c. l−1, respectively. Investigation of those viruses during two rainfall events showed a longer permanence after rainfall events compared with bacterial indicators.


The results highlight the need for further monitoring using viral parameters to determine the microbiological quality of recreational waters to allow bath in these waters, especially during rainy events.

Significance and Impact of the Study

This study provides data on virus contamination in recreational waters on tourist beaches frequented throughout the year, emphasizing the importance of viral parameters for assessing microbiological quality of water, as well as the potential risk of waterborne infections.