Despite the vast distribution and expansive diversity of enteroviruses reported globally, indicators defining a complete view of the epidemiology of enteroviruses in tropical countries such as the Philippines are yet to be established. Detection of enteroviruses in the environment has been one of the markers of circulating viruses in a community. This study aimed to bridge the gap in the epidemiology of enteroviruses in the Philippines by providing an overview of the occurrence of enteroviruses in both urban and rural rivers. Molecular detection directed at the VP1 region of the enterovirus genome was performed on 44 grab river water samples collected from April to December 2009. The majority of the enterovirus serotypes detected were clustered with human enterovirus C species (HEV-C; 21/42), followed by HEV-B (12/42) and HEV-A (9/42). Porcine enterovirus 9 was also found in 12 out of 44 water samples. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the viruses detected were closely related, if not all forming a monophyletic clade, with those enteroviruses detected previously from acute flaccid paralysis cases in the country. The clustering of environmental and human enterovirus strains implies that the circulation of these strains were associated with river contamination. This study gives further evidence of the environmental persistence of enteroviruses once they are shed in feces and likewise, provides additional data which may help in understanding the epidemiology of enteroviruses in humans, highlighting the need for more studies on the potential public health risks linked with enteroviruses found in the environment and their eventual clinical consequences in the country.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology