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Rusinol M.,University of Barcelona | Carratala A.,University of Barcelona | Hundesa A.,University of Barcelona | Bach A.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | And 5 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2013

Farmed animals such as sheep, cattle, swine and poultry play an important role in microbial contamination of water, crops and food, and introduce large quantities of pathogens into the environment. The ability to determine the origin of faecal pollution in water resources is essential when establishing a robust and efficient water management system. Animal-specific viruses have previously been suggested as microbial source tracking tools, but specific ovine viral markers have not been reported before now. Previous studies have shown that polyomaviruses are host-specific, highly prevalent and are commonly excreted in urine. Furthermore, they have been reported to infect several vertebrate species but not sheep. That situation encouraged the study of a new putative ovine polyomavirus (OPyV) and its use to determine whether faecal pollution originates from ovine faecal/urine contamination.Putative OPyV DNA was amplified from ovine urine and faecal samples using a broad-spectrum nested PCR (nPCR). Specific nested PCR and quantitative PCR assays were developed and applied to faecal and environmental samples, including sheep slurries, slaughterhouse wastewater effluents, urban sewage and river water samples. Successful amplification by PCR was achieved in sheep urine samples, sheep slaughterhouse wastewater and downstream sewage effluents. The assay was specific and was negative in samples of human, bovine, goat, swine and chicken origin. Ovine faecal pollution was detected in river water samples by applying the designed methods. These results provide a quantitative tool for the analysis of OPyV as a suitable viral indicator of sheep faecal contamination that may be present in the environment. © 2013. Source

Fiddicke U.,Federal Environment Agency UBA | Becker K.,Federal Environment Agency UBA | Schwedler G.,Federal Environment Agency UBA | Seiwert M.,Federal Environment Agency UBA | And 49 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2015

Within the European Environment and Health Action Plan an initiative to establish a coherent human biomonitoring approach in Europe was started. The project COPHES (COnsortium to Perform Human biomonitoring on a European Scale) developed recommendations for a harmonized conduct of a human biomonitoring (HBM) survey which came into action as the pilot study DEMOCOPHES (DEMOnstration of a study to COordinate and Perform Human biomonitoring on a European Scale). Seventeen European countries conducted a survey with harmonized instruments for, inter alia, recruitment, fieldwork and sampling, in autumn/winter 2011/2012. Based on the countries' experiences of conducting the pilot study, following lessons learnt were compiled: the harmonized fieldwork instruments (basic questionnaire, urine and hair sampling) turned out to be very valuable for future HBM surveys on the European scale. A school approach was favoured by most of the countries to recruit school-aged children according to the established guidelines and country specific experiences. To avoid a low participation rate, intensive communication with the involved institutions and possible participants proved to be necessary. The communication material should also include information on exclusion criteria and offered incentives. Telephone contact to the participants the day before fieldwork during the survey can prevent the forgetting of appointments and first morning urine samples. To achieve comparable results on the European scale, training of interviewers in all issues of recruitment, fieldwork and sampling through information material and training sessions is crucial. A survey involving many European countries needs time for preparation and conduct. Materials for quality control prepared for all steps of recruitment, fieldwork and sampling proved to be important to warrant reliable results. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

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