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Special Issue "Small Solutions for Big Water-Related Problems—Innovative Microarrays and Small Sensors to Cope with Water Quality and Food Security"

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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Roberto Spurio

Department of Biosciences and Biotechnology, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino (MC), Italy
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Guest Editor
Dr. Duarte Tito

Elentec Ltd, Llandudno, UK
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Guest Editor
Dr. Letizia Brandi

Department of Biosciences and Biotechnology, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino (MC), Italy
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Guest Editor
Dr. Laura Mancini

Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena, 299 00161 Roma, Italy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The purpose of this special issue is to present a number of articles highlighting the latest interdisciplinary and innovative research, tools, molecular methods and approaches to detect contaminants and harmful toxins in environmental water, as well as novel and re-emerging water borne pathogens. A special emphasis is also given to methods enabling remediation of chemically and/or biologically contaminated waters.

These topics, which are of paramount importance for safeguarding human health, will be covered during the International Symposium ”Small Solutions for Big Water-Related Problems Innovative microarrays and small sensors to cope with water quality and food security” to be held in the National Institute of Health, Rome (Italy) on 26–28 October, 2014.

Dr. Roberto Spurio
Dr. Duarte Tito
Dr. Letizia Brandi
Dr. Laura Mancini
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Scientific Symposium “Small Solution for Big Water-Related Problems: Innovative Microarrays and Small Sensors to Cope with Water Quality and Food Security”
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15400-15408; doi:10.3390/ijerph121214992
Received: 30 November 2015 / Accepted: 30 November 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (192 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This issue presents the conclusive results of two European Commission funded Projects, namely Universal Microarrays for the Evaluation of Fresh-water Quality Based on Detection of Pathogens and their Toxins (MicroAQUA) and Rationally Designed Aquatic Receptors (RADAR). These projects focused their activities on the
[...] Read more.
This issue presents the conclusive results of two European Commission funded Projects, namely Universal Microarrays for the Evaluation of Fresh-water Quality Based on Detection of Pathogens and their Toxins (MicroAQUA) and Rationally Designed Aquatic Receptors (RADAR). These projects focused their activities on the quality of drinking water as an extremely important factor for public health of humans and animals. The MicroAQUA Project aimed at developing a universal microarray chip for the detection of various pathogens (cyanobacteria, bacteria, viruses and parasitic protozoa) and their toxins in waters. In addition, the project included the detection of select species of diatoms, which represent reliable bio-indicators to assess overall water quality. Large numbers of compounds are released into the environment; some of these are toxins such as endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and can affect the endocrine, immune and nervous systems of a wide range of animals causing alterations such as reproductive disorders and cancer. Detection of these contaminants in water systems is important to protect sensitive environmental sites and reduce the risk of toxins entering the food chain. A modular platform for monitoring toxins in water and food production facilities, using biosensors derived from aquatic organisms, was the main goal of RADAR Project. Full article

Research

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Open AccessCommunication Two-Year Monitoring of Water Samples from Dam of Iskar and the Black Sea, Bulgaria, by Molecular Analysis: Focus on Mycobacterium spp.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 7430-7443; doi:10.3390/ijerph120707430
Received: 25 March 2015 / Revised: 18 June 2015 / Accepted: 23 June 2015 / Published: 30 June 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The coast of the Bulgarian Black Sea is a popular summer holiday destination. The Dam of Iskar is the largest artificial dam in Bulgaria, with a capacity of 675 million m3. It is the main source of tap water for the
[...] Read more.
The coast of the Bulgarian Black Sea is a popular summer holiday destination. The Dam of Iskar is the largest artificial dam in Bulgaria, with a capacity of 675 million m3. It is the main source of tap water for the capital Sofia and for irrigating the surrounding valley. There is a close relationship between the quality of aquatic ecosystems and human health as many infections are waterborne. Rapid molecular methods for the analysis of highly pathogenic bacteria have been developed for monitoring quality. Mycobacterial species can be isolated from waste, surface, recreational, ground and tap waters and human pathogenicity of nontuberculose mycobacteria (NTM) is well recognized. The objective of our study was to perform molecular analysis for key-pathogens, with a focus on mycobacteria, in water samples collected from the Black Sea and the Dam of Iskar. In a two year period, 38 water samples were collected—24 from the Dam of Iskar and 14 from the Black Sea coastal zone. Fifty liter water samples were concentrated by ultrafiltration. Molecular analysis for 15 pathogens, including all species of genus Mycobacterium was performed. Our results showed presence of Vibrio spp. in the Black Sea. Rotavirus A was also identified in four samples from the Dam of Iskar. Toxigenic Escherichia coli was present in both locations, based on markers for stx1 and stx2 genes. No detectable amounts of Cryptosporidium were detected in either location using immunomagnetic separation and fluorescence microscopy. Furthermore, mass spectrometry analyses did not detect key cyanobacterial toxins. On the basis of the results obtained we can conclude that for the period 2012–2014 no Mycobacterium species were present in the water samples. During the study period no cases of waterborne infections were reported. Full article
Open AccessArticle SaDA: From Sampling to Data Analysis—An Extensible Open Source Infrastructure for Rapid, Robust and Automated Management and Analysis of Modern Ecological High-Throughput Microarray Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(6), 6352-6366; doi:10.3390/ijerph120606352
Received: 15 February 2015 / Revised: 21 May 2015 / Accepted: 29 May 2015 / Published: 3 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
One of the most crucial characteristics of day-to-day laboratory information management is the collection, storage and retrieval of information about research subjects and environmental or biomedical samples. An efficient link between sample data and experimental results is absolutely important for the successful outcome
[...] Read more.
One of the most crucial characteristics of day-to-day laboratory information management is the collection, storage and retrieval of information about research subjects and environmental or biomedical samples. An efficient link between sample data and experimental results is absolutely important for the successful outcome of a collaborative project. Currently available software solutions are largely limited to large scale, expensive commercial Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS). Acquiring such LIMS indeed can bring laboratory information management to a higher level, but most of the times this requires a sufficient investment of money, time and technical efforts. There is a clear need for a light weighted open source system which can easily be managed on local servers and handled by individual researchers. Here we present a software named SaDA for storing, retrieving and analyzing data originated from microorganism monitoring experiments. SaDA is fully integrated in the management of environmental samples, oligonucleotide sequences, microarray data and the subsequent downstream analysis procedures. It is simple and generic software, and can be extended and customized for various environmental and biomedical studies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Molecular Tools for the Selective Detection of Nine Diatom Species Biomarkers of Various Water Quality Levels
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(5), 5485-5504; doi:10.3390/ijerph120505485
Received: 15 February 2015 / Revised: 24 April 2015 / Accepted: 4 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6644 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Our understanding of the composition of diatom communities and their response to environmental changes is currently limited by laborious taxonomic identification procedures. Advances in molecular technologies are expected to contribute more efficient, robust and sensitive tools for the detection of these ecologically relevant
[...] Read more.
Our understanding of the composition of diatom communities and their response to environmental changes is currently limited by laborious taxonomic identification procedures. Advances in molecular technologies are expected to contribute more efficient, robust and sensitive tools for the detection of these ecologically relevant microorganisms. There is a need to explore and test phylogenetic markers as an alternative to the use of rRNA genes, whose limited sequence divergence does not allow the accurate discrimination of diatoms at the species level. In this work, nine diatom species belonging to eight genera, isolated from epylithic environmental samples collected in central Italy, were chosen to implement a panel of diatoms covering the full range of ecological status of freshwaters. The procedure described in this work relies on the PCR amplification of specific regions in two conserved diatom genes, elongation factor 1-a (eEF1-a) and silicic acid transporter (SIT), as a first step to narrow down the complexity of the targets, followed by microarray hybridization experiments. Oligonucleotide probes with the potential to discriminate closely related species were designed taking into account the genetic polymorphisms found in target genes. These probes were tested, refined and validated on a small-scale prototype DNA chip. Overall, we obtained 17 highly specific probes targeting eEF1-a and SIT, along with 19 probes having lower discriminatory power recognizing at the same time two or three species. This basic array was validated in a laboratory setting and is ready for tests with crude environmental samples eventually to be scaled-up to include a larger panel of diatoms. Its possible use for the simultaneous detection of diatoms selected from the classes of water quality identified by the European Water Framework Directive is discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Detection of Emerging and Re-Emerging Pathogens in Surface Waters Close to an Urban Area
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(5), 5505-5527; doi:10.3390/ijerph120505505
Received: 27 February 2015 / Revised: 30 April 2015 / Accepted: 18 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1359 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
Current knowledge about the spread of pathogens in aquatic environments is scarce probably because bacteria, viruses, algae and their toxins tend to occur at low concentrations in water, making them very difficult to measure directly. The purpose of this study was the development
[...] Read more.
Current knowledge about the spread of pathogens in aquatic environments is scarce probably because bacteria, viruses, algae and their toxins tend to occur at low concentrations in water, making them very difficult to measure directly. The purpose of this study was the development and validation of tools to detect pathogens in freshwater systems close to an urban area. In order to evaluate anthropogenic impacts on water microbiological quality, a phylogenetic microarray was developed in the context of the EU project µAQUA to detect simultaneously numerous pathogens and applied to samples from two different locations close to an urban area located upstream and downstream of Rome in the Tiber River. Furthermore, human enteric viruses were also detected. Fifty liters of water were collected and concentrated using a hollow-fiber ultrafiltration approach. The resultant concentrate was further size-fractionated through a series of decreasing pore size filters. RNA was extracted from pooled filters and hybridized to the newly designed microarray to detect pathogenic bacteria, protozoa and toxic cyanobacteria. Diatoms as indicators of the water quality status, were also included in the microarray to evaluate water quality. The microarray results gave positive signals for bacteria, diatoms, cyanobacteria and protozoa. Cross validation of the microarray was performed using standard microbiological methods for the bacteria. The presence of oral-fecal transmitted human enteric-viruses were detected using q-PCR. Significant concentrations of Salmonella, Clostridium, Campylobacter and Staphylococcus as well as Hepatitis E Virus (HEV), noroviruses GI (NoGGI) and GII (NoGII) and human adenovirus 41 (ADV 41) were found in the Mezzocammino site, whereas lower concentrations of other bacteria and only the ADV41 virus was recovered at the Castel Giubileo site. This study revealed that the pollution level in the Tiber River was considerably higher downstream rather than upstream of Rome and the downstream location was contaminated by emerging and re-emerging pathogens. Full article
Open AccessArticle Molecular Detection of a Potentially Toxic Diatom Species
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(5), 4921-4941; doi:10.3390/ijerph120504921
Received: 15 February 2015 / Revised: 24 March 2015 / Accepted: 16 April 2015 / Published: 6 May 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (841 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A few diatom species produce toxins that affect human and animal health. Among these, members of the Pseudo-nitzschia genus were the first diatoms unambiguously identified as producer of domoic acid, a neurotoxin affecting molluscan shell-fish, birds, marine mammals, and humans. Evidence exists indicating
[...] Read more.
A few diatom species produce toxins that affect human and animal health. Among these, members of the Pseudo-nitzschia genus were the first diatoms unambiguously identified as producer of domoic acid, a neurotoxin affecting molluscan shell-fish, birds, marine mammals, and humans. Evidence exists indicating the involvement of another diatom genus, Amphora, as a potential producer of domoic acid. We present a strategy for the detection of the diatom species Amphora coffeaeformis based on the development of species-specific oligonucleotide probes and their application in microarray hybridization experiments. This approach is based on the use of two marker genes highly conserved in all diatoms, but endowed with sufficient genetic divergence to discriminate diatoms at the species level. A region of approximately 450 bp of these previously unexplored marker genes, coding for elongation factor 1-a (eEF1-a) and silicic acid transporter (SIT), was used to design oligonucleotide probes that were tested for specificity in combination with the corresponding fluorescently labeled DNA targets. The results presented in this work suggest a possible use of this DNA chip technology for the selective detection of A. coffeaeformis in environmental settings where the presence of this potential toxin producer may represent a threat to human and animal health. In addition, the same basic approach can be adapted to a wider range of diatoms for the simultaneous detection of microorganisms used as biomarkers of different water quality levels. Full article
Open AccessArticle Diuron in Water: Functional Toxicity and Intracellular Detoxification Patterns of Active Concentrations Assayed in Tandem by a Yeast-Based Probe
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(4), 3731-3740; doi:10.3390/ijerph120403731
Received: 16 January 2015 / Accepted: 23 March 2015 / Published: 1 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A study on the acute and chronic effects of the herbicide diuron was carried out. The test, basing on a yeast cell probe, investigated the interference with cellular catabolism and possible self-detoxification capacity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Aerobic respiration was taken as the
[...] Read more.
A study on the acute and chronic effects of the herbicide diuron was carried out. The test, basing on a yeast cell probe, investigated the interference with cellular catabolism and possible self-detoxification capacity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Aerobic respiration was taken as the toxicological end-point. Percentage interference (%r) with cellular respiration was measured in water by increased dissolved O2 concentration (ppm) after exposure to different doses. Interference was calculated through the comparison of respiratory activity of exposed and non-exposed cells. Short-term and long-term (6 and 24 h respectively) exposures were also considered. The test for short-term exposure gave positive %r values except that for 10−6 M (11.11%, 11.76%, 13.33% and 0% for 10−10 M, 10−8 M, 10−7 M and 10−6 M respectively). In the case of long-term exposure the test showed positive %r values, but less effect than short-term exposure until 10−8 M and much higher at 10−6 M (7.41%, 8.82%, 11.76% and 6.06% for 10−10 M, 10−8 M, 10−7 M and 10−6 M respectively). The findings of aerobic respiration as toxicological end-point were in agreement with known mechanisms of toxicity and intracellular detoxification for both the doses and exposure times employed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Free-Living Amoebae from Different Water Sources in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(4), 3417-3427; doi:10.3390/ijerph120403417
Received: 19 January 2015 / Revised: 13 March 2015 / Accepted: 16 March 2015 / Published: 24 March 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa ubiquitous in Nature, isolated from a variety of environments worldwide. In addition to their natural distribution, some species have been found to be pathogenic to humans. In the present study a survey was conducted in order to evaluate
[...] Read more.
Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa ubiquitous in Nature, isolated from a variety of environments worldwide. In addition to their natural distribution, some species have been found to be pathogenic to humans. In the present study a survey was conducted in order to evaluate the presence and to characterize at molecular level the isolates of amoebic organisms collected from different water sources in Italy. A total of 160 water samples were analyzed by culture and microscopic examination. FLA were found in 46 (28.7%) of the investigated water samples. Groundwater, well waters, and ornamental fountain waters were the sources with higher prevalence rates (85.7%, 50.0%, and 45.9%, respectively). Identification of FLA species/genotypes, based on the 18S rDNA regions, allowed to identify 18 (39.1%) Acanthamoeba isolates (genotypes T4 and T15) and 21 (45.6%) Vermamoeba vermiformis isolates. Other FLA species, including Vahlkampfia sp. and Naegleria spp., previously reported in Italy, were not recovered. The occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in habitats related to human population, as reported in the present study, supports the relevance of FLA as a potential health threat to humans. Full article
Open AccessArticle Health Risk Assessment Related to Waterborne Pathogens from the River to the Tap
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 2967-2983; doi:10.3390/ijerph120302967
Received: 5 December 2014 / Revised: 13 February 2015 / Accepted: 17 February 2015 / Published: 10 March 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (727 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A two-year monitoring program of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts, Giardia duodenalis cysts, Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens spores and adenovirus was conducted in three large rivers in France used for recreational activities and as a resource for drinking water production. Fifty-liter river water and
[...] Read more.
A two-year monitoring program of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts, Giardia duodenalis cysts, Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens spores and adenovirus was conducted in three large rivers in France used for recreational activities and as a resource for drinking water production. Fifty-liter river water and one thousand-liter tap water samples were concentrated using hollow-fiber ultrafiltration and analyzed by molecular biology or laser-scanning cytometry. In order to evaluate watershed land use influence on microorganism concentration changes, occurrence and seasonality of microorganisms were studied. The highest concentrations of protozoan parasites and C. perfringens were found for one of the three sites, showing a high proportion of agricultural territories, forests and semi-natural environments, which may be partly attributable to soil leaching due to rainfall events. On the contrary, the highest concentrations of adenoviruses were found at the two other sites, probably due to strong urban activities. Health risk assessment was evaluated for each waterborne pathogen regarding exposure during recreational activities (for a single or five bathing events during the summer). The calculated risk was lower than 0.5% for parasites and varied from 1% to 42% for adenovirus. A theoretical assessment of microorganism removal during the drinking water treatment process was also performed, and it showed that an absence of microorganisms could be expected in finished drinking water. This hypothesis was confirmed since all tested tap water samples were negative for each studied microorganism, resulting in a risk for drinking water consumption lower than 0.01% for parasites and lower than 0.5% for adenovirus. Full article
Open AccessArticle Rationally Modified Estrogen Receptor Protein as a Bio-Recognition Element for the Detection of EDC Pollutants: Strategies and Opportunities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 2612-2621; doi:10.3390/ijerph120302612
Received: 15 December 2014 / Revised: 11 February 2015 / Accepted: 16 February 2015 / Published: 27 February 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1101 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The estrogen receptor protein (ER) can bind a vast number of organic pollutants widely spread in the environment and collectively known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, EDCs. Its broad selectivity makes it an ideal bio-recognition element for the detection of EDCs. Here we describe
[...] Read more.
The estrogen receptor protein (ER) can bind a vast number of organic pollutants widely spread in the environment and collectively known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, EDCs. Its broad selectivity makes it an ideal bio-recognition element for the detection of EDCs. Here we describe the strategy and rationale for the design of ER based biosensors and assays that generate a signal in the presence of EDCs. The opportunity to use either natural or rationally modified ER molecules is discussed. The latter approach was successfully applied in the EU-FP7 project RADAR, with the aim to develop a novel biosensor for the detection of organic pollutants both in the environment and in commercial water products. Full article
Open AccessArticle Gonadal Disorder in the Thinlip Grey Mullet (Liza ramada, Risso 1827) as a Biomarker of Environmental Stress in Surface Waters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(2), 1817-1833; doi:10.3390/ijerph120201817
Received: 11 December 2014 / Revised: 29 December 2014 / Accepted: 29 January 2015 / Published: 5 February 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1014 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of gonadal alterations in the thinlip grey mullet (Liza ramada) as a biological indicator in assessing aquatic ecosystems health, with particular emphasis to river ecosystems exposed to sewage discharges. For this
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of gonadal alterations in the thinlip grey mullet (Liza ramada) as a biological indicator in assessing aquatic ecosystems health, with particular emphasis to river ecosystems exposed to sewage discharges. For this purpose, the reproductive status and the presence of gonadal alterations were studied in 206 mullets collected from two sites on the low course of the Tiber River, downstream of a large urban sewage treatment plant and in the estuarine area, and from an uncontaminated pond considered as reference site. Intersex and irregularly shaped gonads were observed in 20.8% of the mullets from the most polluted site, and intersex gonads in 10.3% of those from the estuarine area. No alterations were detected in the fish from the reference site, which also showed distinct stages of gonadal development. Conversely, unclear stages of testicular and ovary development were observed in the fish from the two polluted river sites. The results of this study suggest that L. ramada may represent a sentinel species in environmental risk assessment and support the use of gonadal alterations of this species as a bioindicator for extensive monitoring of pollution in lower stretches of rivers and estuarine areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle On-Line Monitoring of Escherichia coli in Raw Water at Oset Drinking Water Treatment Plant, Oslo (Norway)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(2), 1788-1802; doi:10.3390/ijerph120201788
Received: 10 December 2014 / Revised: 31 December 2014 / Accepted: 27 January 2015 / Published: 4 February 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1691 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The fully automated Colifast ALARMTM has been used for two years for daily monitoring of the presence/absence of Escherichia coli in 100 mL raw water at Oset drinking water treatment plant in Oslo, Norway. The raw water is extracted from 35 m
[...] Read more.
The fully automated Colifast ALARMTM has been used for two years for daily monitoring of the presence/absence of Escherichia coli in 100 mL raw water at Oset drinking water treatment plant in Oslo, Norway. The raw water is extracted from 35 m depth from the Lake Maridalsvannet. E. coli was detected in 18% of the daily samples. In general, most samples positive for E. coli were observed during the autumn turnover periods, but even in some samples taken during warm and dry days in July, with stable temperature stratification in the lake, E. coli was detected. The daily samples gave useful additional information compared with the weekly routine samples about the hygienic raw water quality and the hygienic barrier efficiency of the lake under different weather conditions and seasons. The winter 2013/2014 was much warmer than the winter 2012/2013. The monitoring supported the hypothesis that warmer winters with shorter periods with ice cover on lakes, which may be a consequence of climate changes, may reduce the hygienic barrier efficiency in deep lakes used as drinking water sources. Full article

Other

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Open AccessConference Report Detection of Pathogenic Escherichia coli in Samples Collected at an Abattoir in Zaria, Nigeria and at Different Points in the Surrounding Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 679-691; doi:10.3390/ijerph120100679
Received: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 7 January 2015 / Published: 13 January 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (894 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pathogenic Escherichia coli can be released with the wastes coming from slaughterhouses into the environment, where they can persist. We investigated the presence of diarrheagenic E. coli in specimens taken at an abattoir located in the Zaria region, Nigeria, in samples of water
[...] Read more.
Pathogenic Escherichia coli can be released with the wastes coming from slaughterhouses into the environment, where they can persist. We investigated the presence of diarrheagenic E. coli in specimens taken at an abattoir located in the Zaria region, Nigeria, in samples of water from the river Koreye, where the effluent from the abattoir spills in, and vegetable specimens taken at a nearby farm. All the isolated E. coli were assayed for the production of Shiga toxins (Stx) by using the Ridascreen verotoxin Immunoassay and by PCR amplification of genes associated with the diarrheagenic E. coli. Three strains from the rectal content of two slaughtered animals and a cabbage were positive for the presence of the Stx-coding genes. Additionally we have isolated one Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAggEC) from the abattoir effluent and two Subtilase-producing E. coli from the slaughterhouse’s effluent and a sample of carrots. Our results provide evidence that pathogenic E. coli can contaminate the environment as a result of the discharge into the environment of untreated abattoir effluent, representing a reservoir for STEC and other diarrheagenic E. coli favouring their spread to crops. Full article

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