Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/14/2001
Publication Date: 1/1/2002
Citation: Ley, V., Higgins, J.A., Fayer, R. 2002. Bovine Enteroviruses are Abundant in the Environment and can Serve as a Marker for Fecal Contamination. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 68:3455-3461.
Interpretive Summary: Surface waters are frequently contaminated with human enteric viruses and, although undocumented, it is likely that animal enteric viruses contaminate surface waters also. Bovine enteroviruses are found in cattle worldwide, usually as asymptomatic infections, and large numbers are excreted in their feces. In this study, the prevalence of Bovine enterovirus (BEV) in a closed herd of beef cattle was 76%. BEV was also found in 38 % of White- tail deer and in 1 of 3 Canada geese sharing the same pastures. It was also detected in the drinking water tanks, the pasture, in a stream running from the pasture to an adjacent river, and in the river leading to the Chesapeake Bay. BEV was found in oysters in the river downstream from the farm. Thus, it is likely that this virus could be used as an indicator of faecal pollution originating from cattle farms.
Technical Abstract: In this study, the prevalence and genotype of Bovine enterovirus (BEV) in a closed herd of beef cattle was evaluated and compared with BEV found in animals in the immediate environment and in environmental specimens. BEV was found in feces from 76% of the cattle, in 38 % of White-tail deer and in 1 of 3 Canada geese sharing the same pastures, as well as in water obtained from drinking water tanks, from the pasture, streams running from the pasture to an adjacent river, and from that river leading to the Chesapeake Bay. Furthermore, BEV was found in oysters from a bar in the river downstream from the farm. Thus, it is likely that this virus could be used as an indicator of faecal pollution originating from farms.