Estimation of Contamination Sources of Human Enteroviruses in a Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation System by PCR-DGGE

Zheng Ji, Xiaochang C. Wang, Limei Xu, Chongmiao Zhang, Naoyuki Funamizu, Satoshi Okabe, Daisuke Sano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) method was employed to estimate the contamination sources of human enteroviruses and understand how their dominant strains vary in a wastewater treatment and reclamation system consisting of sewage collection, wastewater treatment with membrane bioreactor and open lakes for reclaimed water storage and reuse. After PCR-DGGE using a selected primer set targeting enteroviruses, phylogenetic analysis of acquired enterovirus gene sequences was performed. Enteroviruses identified from the septic tank were much more diverse than those from grey water and kitchen wastewater. Several unique types of enterovirus different from those in wastewater samples were dominant in a biological wastewater treatment unit. Membrane filtration followed by chlorination was proved effective for physically eliminating enteroviruses; however, secondary contamination likely occurred as the reclaimed water was stored in artificial lakes. Enterovirus 71 (EV71), a hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) viral pathogen, was detected mainly from the artificial lakes, implying that wastewater effluent was not the contamination source of EV71 and that there were unidentified non-point sources of the contamination with the HFMD viral pathogen in the reclaimed water stored in the artificial lakes. The PCR-DGGE targeting enteroviruses provided robust evidence about viral contamination sources in the wastewater treatment and reclamation system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-109
Number of pages11
JournalFood and Environmental Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Hand-foot-and-mouth disease viruses
  • Human enteroviruses
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Reclaimed water
  • Source tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Food Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Virology


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