VIROBATHE - Methods for the concentration and detection of adenoviruses and noroviruses in European bathing waters with reference to the revision of the Bathing Water Directive 6/160/EEC
A Consortium of 16 expert laboratories from nine EU Member States is evaluating methods for detecting in water noroviruses and adenoviruses, two of the most important viruses associated with gastroenteritis. Through extensive laboratory tests a method was developed to detect these agents rapidly in marine and fresh recreational waters (Phase I). The results were demonstrated and further refined in a 20 weeks surveillance programme (Phase II) including selected recreational waters across the EU. The technique was then 'rolled out' to other routine environmental testing laboratories through the EU so other Member States could monitor bathing waters at a local level and use the data to inform and advise the public, local authorities, and policy advisers. Among the outcomes of the project were: â€¢ Improved rapid detection methods for waterborne noroviruses and adenoviruses, â€¢ Surveillance data on the target viruses through a range of EU recreational waters, â€¢ Technology transfer to non-participant laboratories through a 'Tech-Transfer' Workshop at the end of the Project, â€¢ Increased confidence in water quality monitoring for EU bathing water. Virobathe brought the state of the art molecular DNA technology to the detection of viruses which cause gastroenteritis in humans and may be present in sewage-polluted bathing waters; and thus contributed to the improvements in European bathing water quality.