To assess the exposure of beachgoers to viruses, a study on seawater, sand, and beach-stranded material was carried out, searching for human viruses, fecal indicator organisms, and total fungi. Moreover, for the first time, the genome persistence and infectivity of two model viruses was studied in laboratory-spiked sand and seawater samples during a one-week experiment. Viral genome was detected in 13.6 % of the environmental samples, but it was not infectious (Human Adenovirus – HAdV, and enterovirus). Norovirus and SARS-CoV-2 were not detected. The most contaminated samples were from sand and close to riverine discharges. In lab-scale experiments, the infectivity of HAdV5 decreased by ~1.5-Log10 in a week, the one of Human Coronavirus-229E disappeared in <3 h in sand. The genome of both viruses persisted throughout the experiment. Our results confirm viral contamination of the beach and suggest HAdV as an index pathogen for beach monitoring and quantitative risk assessment.

Virus contamination and infectivity in beach environment: Focus on sand and stranded material

Carducci, Annalaura;Federigi, Ileana
;
Balestri, Elena;Lardicci, Claudio;Castelli, Alberto;Maltagliati, Ferruccio;Menicagli, Virginia;Verani, Marco
2022-01-01

Abstract

To assess the exposure of beachgoers to viruses, a study on seawater, sand, and beach-stranded material was carried out, searching for human viruses, fecal indicator organisms, and total fungi. Moreover, for the first time, the genome persistence and infectivity of two model viruses was studied in laboratory-spiked sand and seawater samples during a one-week experiment. Viral genome was detected in 13.6 % of the environmental samples, but it was not infectious (Human Adenovirus – HAdV, and enterovirus). Norovirus and SARS-CoV-2 were not detected. The most contaminated samples were from sand and close to riverine discharges. In lab-scale experiments, the infectivity of HAdV5 decreased by ~1.5-Log10 in a week, the one of Human Coronavirus-229E disappeared in <3 h in sand. The genome of both viruses persisted throughout the experiment. Our results confirm viral contamination of the beach and suggest HAdV as an index pathogen for beach monitoring and quantitative risk assessment.
2022
Carducci, Annalaura; Federigi, Ileana; Balestri, Elena; Lardicci, Claudio; Castelli, Alberto; Maltagliati, Ferruccio; Zhao, Hongrui; Menicagli, Virginia; Valente, Rossella; De Battisti, Davide; Verani, Marco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1156860
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