Environmental monitoring for gastroenteric viruses in a pediatric primary immunodeficiency unit

Christopher Gallimore*, Clive Taylor, Andrew R. Gennery, Andrew J. Cant, Angela Galloway, Miren Iturriza-Gomara, Jim J. Gray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to determine if gastroenteric viruses were present on surfaces and equipment in a pediatric primary immunodeficiency unit (PPIU) by environmental sampling using swabs and subsequent nucleic acid extraction and reverse transcriptase PCR assays. A PPIU was chosen, and 11 swabs were taken at the same sites every 2 weeks for 6 months. Nested/heminested PCR assays were used to screen for astroviruses (AsV), noroviruses (NoV), and rotaviruses (RV). AsV, NoV, and RV were detected at multiple swab sites during the study period. NoV was the most frequently detected virus on environmental surfaces; however, RV was detected on 79% and NoV on 50% of swabbing dates during the study period. Toilet taps were the most contaminated sites. Fecal samples from selected patients in the unit were also screened during the study period, and patients excreted AsV, NoV, and RV at times during the study. New cleaning schedules and changes in some of the PPIU sanitary furniture have been suggested as a means of reducing environmental contamination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-399
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


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