Microbial risk assessment in recreational freshwaters from southern Brazil

Viviane Girardi, Kristina D. Mena, Suelen M. Albino, Meriane Demoliner, Juliana S. Gularte, Fernanda G. de Souza, Caroline Rigotto, Daniela M. Quevedo, Vania E. Schneider, Suelen O. Paesi, Patrick M. Tarwater, Fernando R. Spilki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this study, total coliforms (TC), Escherichia coli, enterovirus (EV), rotavirus (RV), and human mastadenovirus species C and F (HAdV-C and HAdV-F) were evaluated in water samples from Belo Stream. For HAdV-C and F, the infectivity was assessed by integrated cell culture quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (ICC-qPCR). Samples were collected monthly (May/2015 to April/2016) at four sites. Viral analyses were performed for both ultracentrifuge-concentrated and unconcentrated samples. For site P4 (used for recreational purposes), QMRA was applied to estimate health risks associated with exposure to E. coli and HAdV-C and F. TC and E. coli were present throughout the collection period. EV and RV were not detected. HAdV-C were present in 8.51% (1.89E + 06 to 2.28E + 07 GC (Genomic Copies)/L) and 21.27% (2.36E + 05 to 1.29E + 07 GC/L) for unconcentrated and concentrated samples, respectively. For HAdV-F were 12.76% (2.77E + 07 to 3.31E + 08 GC/L) and 48.93% (1.10E + 05 to 4.50E + 08 GC/L) for unconcentrated and concentrated samples, respectively. For unconcentrated samples, infectivity for HAdV-C was detected in 37.20% (1st ICC-qPCR) and 25.58% (2nd ICC-qPCR). For HAdV-F, infectivity was detected in 6.97% (1st ICC-qPCR) and 6.97% (2nd ICC-qPCR). For concentrated samples, HAdV-C infectious was observed in 17.02% (1st ICC-qPCR) and in 8.51% (2nd ICC-qPCR). For HAdV-F, were present in 8.51% for both 1st and 2nd ICC-qPCR. Statistical analyzes showed significant difference between the collection sites when analyzed the molecular data of HAdV-F, data of TC and E. coli. Correlation tests showed direct correlation between HAdV-F with E. coli and TC. E. coli concentrations translated to the lowest estimates of infection risks (8.58E-05 to 2.17E-03). HAdV-F concentrations were associated with the highest infection risks at 9.99E-01 and for group C, 1.29E-01 to 9.99E-01. These results show that commonly used bacterial indicators for water quality may not infer health risks associated with viruses in recreational freshwaters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-308
Number of pages11
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenovirus
  • Escherichia coli
  • QMRA
  • Recreational waters
  • Viral infectivity
  • qPCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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