Waterborne Enteric Coronaviruses and the SARS-CoV-2 Disease

Mohammad K. Parvez


Enteric or diarrheal viruses are primarily transmitted through contaminated water, and cause self-limiting gastroenteritis, diarrhea or jaundice. The human coronaviruses (CoV), including the severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV (SARS-CoV-1) and Middle-East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV) which are inherently respiratory viruses, also manifest in gastrointestinal tract. Similarly, the novel SARS-CoV-2 also causes diarrhea and liver disorder as well as shed in stool in a proportion of SARS-CoV-2 diseases (COVID-19) patients. This is well supported by detections of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in gut specimen, rectal swabs and stool samples. Recent data on its occurrence in wastewater provides a warning on further spread of COVID-19 in resource-poor countries. Therefore, laboratory test of COVID-19 patients stool along with nasopharyngeal specimen as well as implementation of water surveillances could be very useful in protecting community health.


Enteric coronaviruses; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Gastrointestinal manifestation; Fecal shedding; Water surveillance

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