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Review

An Overview of Microbial Source Tracking Using Host-Specific Genetic Markers to Identify Origins of Fecal Contamination in Different Water Environments

Division of Environment and Natural Resources, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research—NIBIO, Oluf Thesens vei 43, 1433 Aas, Norway
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Academic Editor: Carmen Teodosiu
Water 2022, 14(11), 1809; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111809
Received: 29 April 2022 / Revised: 31 May 2022 / Accepted: 2 June 2022 / Published: 4 June 2022
Fecal contamination of water constitutes a serious health risk to humans and environmental ecosystems. This is mainly due to the fact that fecal material carries a variety of enteropathogens, which can enter and circulate in water bodies through fecal pollution. In this respect, the prompt identification of the polluting source(s) is pivotal to guiding appropriate target-specific remediation actions. Notably, microbial source tracking (MST) is widely applied to determine the host origin(s) contributing to fecal water pollution through the identification of zoogenic and/or anthropogenic sources of fecal environmental DNA (eDNA). A wide array of host-associated molecular markers have been developed and exploited for polluting source attribution in various aquatic ecosystems. This review is intended to provide the most up-to-date overview of genetic marker-based MST studies carried out in different water types, such as freshwaters (including surface and groundwaters) and seawaters (from coasts, beaches, lagoons, and estuaries), as well as drinking water systems. Focusing on the latest scientific progress/achievements, this work aims to gain updated knowledge on the applicability and robustness of using MST for water quality surveillance. Moreover, it also provides a future perspective on advancing MST applications for environmental research. View Full-Text
Keywords: aquatic environments; environmental DNA (eDNA); fecal contamination; host-specific marker genes; microbial source tracking (MST) aquatic environments; environmental DNA (eDNA); fecal contamination; host-specific marker genes; microbial source tracking (MST)
MDPI and ACS Style

Paruch, L.; Paruch, A.M. An Overview of Microbial Source Tracking Using Host-Specific Genetic Markers to Identify Origins of Fecal Contamination in Different Water Environments. Water 2022, 14, 1809. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111809

AMA Style

Paruch L, Paruch AM. An Overview of Microbial Source Tracking Using Host-Specific Genetic Markers to Identify Origins of Fecal Contamination in Different Water Environments. Water. 2022; 14(11):1809. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111809

Chicago/Turabian Style

Paruch, Lisa, and Adam M. Paruch. 2022. "An Overview of Microbial Source Tracking Using Host-Specific Genetic Markers to Identify Origins of Fecal Contamination in Different Water Environments" Water 14, no. 11: 1809. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111809

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