Survival of viruses in the marine environment

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


It has been well established that human pathogenic viruses may be transmitted through the marine environment due to the release of sewage by polluted rivers, outfalls, or release from vessels. These wastes contain human enteric viruses, which if ingested, or in some cases inhaled, can cause a wide variety of illnesses. Their ability to be transmitted by this route is because of their capability to remain infectious long enough in the marine environment to come in contact with a susceptible host. Transmission routes may be fairly direct, such as ingested of contaminated seawater by a swimmer, or more complex by prolonged survival in sediments which are later resuspended and accumulated in shellfish during feeding. The virus is then transmitted during consumption of the shellfish. To understand the potential for human enteric virus transmission through the marine environment numerous studies have been conducted on factors which influence their persistence in this environment (Table 6.1). This reviewfocuses on factors that could play a role in the survival of human pathogenic viruses in the marine environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOceans and Health: Pathogens in the Marine Environment
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780387237091, 0387237089, 9780387237084
Publication statusPublished - 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Gerba, C. P. (2005). Survival of viruses in the marine environment. In Oceans and Health: Pathogens in the Marine Environment (pp. 133-142). Springer US.