Ice as a reservoir for pathogenic human viruses: specifically, caliciviruses, influenza viruses, and enteroviruses.

TitleIce as a reservoir for pathogenic human viruses: specifically, caliciviruses, influenza viruses, and enteroviruses.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsSmith AW, Skilling DE, Castello JD, Rogers SO
JournalMedical hypotheses
Volume63
Issue4
Pagination560-6
Date Published2004
ISSN0306-9877
KeywordsCaliciviridae, Cold Climate, Cryopreservation, Disease Outbreaks, Disease Reservoirs, Ecosystem, Enterovirus, Humans, Ice, Orthomyxoviridae, Seawater, Virus Diseases, Water Microbiology
Abstract

Hundreds of isolates of viable bacteria and fungi have been recovered from ancient ice and permafrost. Evidence supports the hypothesis that viral pathogens also are preserved in ice repositories, such as glaciers, ice sheets, and lake ice. Proof may depend upon narrowing the search by applying specific criteria, which would target candidate viruses. Such criteria include viral pathogens likely to occur in great abundance, likely to be readily transported into ice, and then participate in ongoing disease cycles suggestive of their having been deposited in and subsequently released from ice. Caliciviruses, influenza A, and some enteroviruses appear to satisfy all three criteria. Environmental ice appears to be an important abiotic reservoir for pathogenic microbes. World health and eradication of specific pathogens could be affected by this huge reservoir.

Alternate JournalMed. Hypotheses