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Review

Physical Factors Impacting the Survival and Occurrence of Escherichia coli in Secondary Habitats

1
Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, West Virginia University, Agricultural Sciences Building, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
2
Institute of Water Security and Science, Schools of Agriculture and Food, and Natural Resources, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, West Virginia University, 3109 Agricultural Sciences Building, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(6), 1796; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061796
Received: 13 May 2020 / Revised: 12 June 2020 / Accepted: 20 June 2020 / Published: 23 June 2020
Escherichia (E.) coli is a fecal microbe that inhabits the intestines of endotherms (primary habitat) and the natural environment (secondary habitats). Due to prevailing thinking regarding the limited capacity of E. coli to survive in the environment, relatively few published investigations exist regarding environmental factors influencing E. coli’s survival. To help guide future research in this area, an overview of factors known to impact the survival of E. coli in the environment is provided. Notably, the lack of historic field-based research holds two important implications: (1) large knowledge gaps regarding environmental factors influencing E. coli’s survival in the environment exist; and (2) the efficacy of implemented management strategies have rarely been assessed on larger field scales, thus leaving their actual impact(s) largely unknown. Moreover, the persistence of E. coli in the environment calls into question its widespread and frequent use as a fecal indicator microorganism. To address these shortcomings, future work should include more field-based studies, occurring in diverse physiographical regions and over larger spatial extents. This information will provide scientists and land-use managers with a new understanding regarding factors influencing E. coli concentrations in its secondary habitat, thereby providing insight to address problematic fecal contamination effectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacteria; water quality; land-use practices; environmental persistence bacteria; water quality; land-use practices; environmental persistence
MDPI and ACS Style

Petersen, F.; Hubbart, J.A. Physical Factors Impacting the Survival and Occurrence of Escherichia coli in Secondary Habitats. Water 2020, 12, 1796. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061796

AMA Style

Petersen F, Hubbart JA. Physical Factors Impacting the Survival and Occurrence of Escherichia coli in Secondary Habitats. Water. 2020; 12(6):1796. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061796

Chicago/Turabian Style

Petersen, Fritz, and Jason A. Hubbart. 2020. "Physical Factors Impacting the Survival and Occurrence of Escherichia coli in Secondary Habitats" Water 12, no. 6: 1796. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061796

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