Persistence of Viruses by qPCR Downstream of Three Effluent-Dominated Rivers in the Western United States

Hannah P. Sassi, Koiya D. Tuttle, Walter Q. Betancourt, Masaaki Kitajima, Charles P Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


This study was designed to determine the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) signal persistence of viruses in three effluent-dominated streams. Samples were collected from the effluent outfall of three wastewater treatment plants in the Western United States and downstream at different locations. All samples were tested for the presence of pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV), adenoviruses, norovirus GI and GII, Aichi virus, and enteroviruses using qPCR. PMMoV was detected most frequently in 54/57 (94.7%) samples, followed by adenoviruses which was detected in 21/57 (36.8%) samples. PMMoV was detected at all locations downstream and up to 32 km from the discharge point. This study demonstrated that the detection signal of PMMoV was able to persist in wastewater discharges to a greater degree than human enteric viruses in effluent-dominated rivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalFood and Environmental Virology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Apr 20 2018



  • Effluent-dominated river
  • Enteric virus
  • Pepper mild mottle virus
  • Persistence
  • Quantitative PCR
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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