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Open AccessArticle

Seasonal Variability in the Microbial Community and Pathogens in Wastewater Final Effluents

School of Environmental and Municipal Engineering, Qingdao University of Technology, Qingdao 266033, China
College of Resources and Environment, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao 266109, China
State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2586;
Received: 6 November 2019 / Revised: 5 December 2019 / Accepted: 6 December 2019 / Published: 8 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Systems—Quality and Contamination)
Numerous bacteria, especially pathogens, exist in wastewater final effluents, which can lead to possible human health and ecological security risks when effluents are reused or discharged. However, the diversity, composition, and spatiotemporal dynamics of bacteria in wastewater final effluents remain poorly understood. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of the microbial community and pathogens in wastewater final effluents was performed using high-throughput sequencing. The results revealed that wastewater final effluents in autumn exhibited the highest bacterial community richness and diversity, while those in winter exhibited the lowest. Bacteria in wastewater final effluents predominantly belonged to five phyla, in the order of Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes. At the species level, there were 8~15 dominant species in the wastewater final effluent in each season, and Dokdonella immobilis, Rhizobium gallicum, Candidatus Flaviluna lacus, and Planctomyces limnophilus were the most dominant species in spring, summer, autumn, and winter, respectively. The seasonal variability in bacteria suggested that the microbial diversity and community in wastewater final effluents were mainly influenced by temperature, salinity, disinfection methods, and flocculants. Notably, pathogenic bacteria in wastewater effluents had both the highest relative abundance and species abundance in summer. Arcobacter spp., Legionella spp., and Mycobacterium spp. were the dominant pathogenic bacteria, and all pathogenic bacteria were mainly associated with dermatosis, enteropathies, septicemia, and pneumonia. View Full-Text
Keywords: wastewater final effluent; bacterial community; pathogens; seasonal variability wastewater final effluent; bacterial community; pathogens; seasonal variability
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Chen, X.; Lang, X.L.; Xu, A.-L.; Song, Z.-W.; Yang, J.; Guo, M.-Y. Seasonal Variability in the Microbial Community and Pathogens in Wastewater Final Effluents. Water 2019, 11, 2586.

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