Increased sensitivity of poliovirus detection in tap water concentrates by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


This study developed a methodology to increase the sensitivity of enteric virus detection in tap water concentrates. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection of virus in reduced volumes of virus-containing water concentrates was successful following removal of PCR inhibitory substances. Poliovirus 1 and coxsackievirus B3 were seeded into 378 1 of tap water, concentrated with 1MDS filters, and reconcentrated by organic flocculation. The volume of concentrates was successfully reduced from 25 to 5 ml without loss of virus recovery. PCR detection of virus after treatment of a water concentrate (1.1 × 105-fold concentration) with a Sephadex G-100 plus Chelex-100 column, or Sephadex G-50 plus Chelex-100 column, followed by heat treatment to release viral RNA, was compared with direct phenol-chloroform-isoamyl alcohol (PCI) extraction of viral RNA. The Sephadex G-50 plus Chelex-100 column did not remove inhibitory substances efficiently. The Sephadex G-100 plus Chelex-100 column could remove inhibitory substances, however, 99% of the viruses were also removed by the column. PCI extraction was found to be sufficient to remove inhibitory substances for reverse transcriptase (RT)-seminested PCR with a sensitivity of 0.2 plaque-forming units/10 μl (0.2 PFU/l tap water).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virological Methods
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1995



  • Concentration
  • Coxsackievirus
  • Poliovirus
  • Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

Cite this