Special Issue "Dynamic and Diversity of Waterborne Pathogens and Fecal Indicators in Urban Surface Waters"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 May 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Françoise S. LUCAS
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratoire Eau, Environnement et Systèmes Urbains (Leesu), Faculté des Sciences et Technologie, LEESU Université Paris Est Créteil, 94010 Créteil cedex, France
Interests: urban; surface waters; wastewaters; rainfall-runoff; air quality; microbial ecology; bacterial communities; waterborne pathogens; faecal indicators; microbial source tracking
Prof. Pierre SERVAIS
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Ecology of Aquatic Systems, Université libre de Bruxelles, Campus Plaine, CP 221, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Interests: microbial ecology; bacterial communities; microbiological water quality; faecal indicators; online monitoring; combined sewer overflows; modeling
Dr. Leslie OGORZALY
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Environmental Research & Innovation Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, 41 rue du Brill, L-4422 Belvaux, Luxembourg
Interests: environmental virology; surface water; wastewater; viral communities; viral ecology; waterborne pathogens; bacteriophages; faecal indicators; hydrology; water cycle

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable water supplies are a core issue for human, animal, and environmental health, and they are being threatened by climatic and anthropogenic changes. In addition, new social practices and political demands, such as bathing in urban water-bodies, may pose additional risks that are not fully covered by the current regulations. As a consequence, the detection, monitoring, prediction, and management of pathogens in surface water remains an active field of interdisciplinary research. Recent developments in omics techniques, real-time monitoring, modeling, and data analysis provide new insights into the diversity and ecology of pathogens and faecal indicator microorganisms, and into the sources and flow of antibiotic resistance genes. These new approaches are anticipated to provide a deeper understanding of the origin, transport, and survival of pathogens in different compartments of waterways (water, biofilms, and sediments). Understanding the complex relationships between pathogens, faecal indicators, and environmental parameters on local and regional scales is a challenging task, important for the improvement of now-casting and forecasting solutions and for the implementation of efficient risk management techniques. Monitoring data have been accumulating since the beginning of the 20th century, and there is a great need for organization and interpretation of the temporal trends and spatial patterns of water quality.

The Special Issue of the journal Water on the microbiological quality of surface waters (especially in urban areas) aims to present recent research on the diversity and spatio-temporal dynamic of viruses, bacteria, protists, and toxin-producing algae. Indicative topics might include studies on:

  • The spatio-temporal variability and biogeography;
  • The application of microbial ecology theory to microbial water quality;
  • The diversity of pathogens and faecal indicator populations, and molecular markers;
  • Sources and reservoirs of microbial contamination, and microbial source tracking;
  • Real-time monitoring, monitoring design, predictors’ selection, and modeling for the development of now-casting and forecasting solutions;
  • Databases and meta-analysis;
  • New practices, new risks, new monitoring techniques, quality control, and the evolution of the regulations.

Prof. Françoise S. LUCAS
Prof. Pierre SERVAIS
Dr. Leslie OGORZALY
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • surface water
  • water contamination
  • bacteria
  • viruses
  • protists
  • monitoring
  • modeling
  • health risk
  • pathogens
  • regulations

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Automated Targeted Sampling of Waterborne Pathogens and Microbial Source Tracking Markers Using Near-Real Time Monitoring of Microbiological Water Quality
Water 2021, 13(15), 2069; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13152069 - 29 Jul 2021
Abstract
Waterborne pathogens are heterogeneously distributed across various spatiotemporal scales in water resources, and representative sampling is therefore crucial for accurate risk assessment. Since regulatory monitoring of microbiological water quality is usually conducted at fixed time intervals, it can miss short-term fecal contamination episodes [...] Read more.
Waterborne pathogens are heterogeneously distributed across various spatiotemporal scales in water resources, and representative sampling is therefore crucial for accurate risk assessment. Since regulatory monitoring of microbiological water quality is usually conducted at fixed time intervals, it can miss short-term fecal contamination episodes and underestimate underlying microbial risks. In the present paper, we developed a new automated sampling methodology based on near real-time measurement of a biochemical indicator of fecal pollution. Online monitoring of β-D-glucuronidase (GLUC) activity was used to trigger an automated sampler during fecal contamination events in a drinking water supply and at an urban beach. Significant increases in protozoan parasites, microbial source tracking markers and E. coli were measured during short-term (<24 h) fecal pollution episodes, emphasizing the intermittent nature of their occurrence in water. Synchronous triggering of the automated sampler with online GLUC activity measurements further revealed a tight association between the biochemical indicator and culturable E. coli. The proposed event sampling methodology is versatile and in addition to the two triggering modes validated here, others can be designed based on specific needs and local settings. In support to regulatory monitoring schemes, it should ultimately help gathering crucial data on waterborne pathogens more efficiently during episodic fecal pollution events. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Environmental Antimicrobial Resistance in a Small Urban Mediterranean River: A Focus on Endemic Beta-Lactamases in Clinically Relevant Bacteria
Water 2021, 13(15), 2010; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13152010 - 22 Jul 2021
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Aquatic ecosystems subjected to anthropic pressures are likely hotspots for emergence or dissemination of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. The city of Montpellier is located on a Mediterranean climate watershed that undergoes strong demographic pressures. The aim of the study is to explore antimicrobial resistance, [...] Read more.
Aquatic ecosystems subjected to anthropic pressures are likely hotspots for emergence or dissemination of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. The city of Montpellier is located on a Mediterranean climate watershed that undergoes strong demographic pressures. The aim of the study is to explore antimicrobial resistance, particularly those of clinical concern, in urban rivers flowing in this urban area. The method developed herein to explore antimicrobial resistance is based on cultural and molecular approaches completed by hydrological, hydrogeological, climatic, and physico-chemical data. Hospital vicinity and urbanization density significantly increase cultivable bacterial community, fecal bacteria from human origin, and prevalence of β-lactamases and extended-spectrum β-lactamases encoding-genes without an increase in 16S rDNA gene abundance. A total of 22 multidrug Enterobacterales have been isolated. All Escherichia coli (n = 10) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 6) isolated on a made-house media carried β-lactamases genes, blaCTX-M being the most prevalent (87%), followed by blaTEM (56%) and blaSHV (37%), 56% of these strains carrying two or three of these genes. In urban settings, water quality and infectious risk are generally linked to wastewater treatment plants effluents. This study shows that running waters in urbanized area contribute to the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance, making these environments a reservoir for resistant bacteria with important consideration. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
The Utility of Dreissena polymorpha for Assessing the Viral Contamination of Rivers by Measuring the Accumulation of F-Specific RNA Bacteriophages
Water 2021, 13(7), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070904 - 26 Mar 2021
Viewed by 502
Abstract
River water that receives treated wastewater can be contaminated by pathogens including enteric viruses due to fecal pollution, which may represent an important public health hazard. There is a great diversity of enteric viruses and fecal bacteriophages, especially F-specific RNA bacteriophages (FRNAPHs), are [...] Read more.
River water that receives treated wastewater can be contaminated by pathogens including enteric viruses due to fecal pollution, which may represent an important public health hazard. There is a great diversity of enteric viruses and fecal bacteriophages, especially F-specific RNA bacteriophages (FRNAPHs), are commonly proposed as indicators of viral pollution due to a variety of characteristics such as their structural similarities to the main enteric viruses, their high concentrations in raw wastewater and their environmental survival rate, which is better than other cultivable enteric viruses. However, evaluating the viral contamination of water on the basis of FRNAPH concentration levels continues to present a challenge. This is because the quality of detection is strongly dependent on the quantity of viral particles, high spatio-temporal variabilities and the physico-chemical conditions of the water during sampling. To overcome these limitations, the present study aims to evaluate whether the bivalve mollusk Dreissena polymorpha (zebra mussel) could be considered a suitable experimental model for assessing the viral contamination of rivers. In order to determine this, the capacity of D. polymorpha to accumulate FRNAPHs and assimilate them into their soft tissue was studied. This provided a proof of concept for the use of D. polymorpha to evaluate the viral contamination of surface water. Two experiments were conducted: (1) an in situ experiment to confirm that zebra mussels naturally accumulated FRNAPHs and (2) a laboratory experiment to determine the accumulation and depuration kinetics of FRNAPHs in D. polymorpha tissue. The study highlights the capacity of the mussels to accumulate infectious FRNAPHs both on a laboratory scale under controlled conditions as well as in situ at different sites that are representative of different bodies of water. An analysis of the mussels’ soft tissue showed that they were capable of reflecting the water’s contamination level very quickly (within less than 24 h). Moreover, the soft tissue retained the viral load much longer than the water due to a low depuration rate. The analysis of FRNAPH concentrations in mussels exposed in situ suggested that there were differences in contamination levels between sites. These preliminary results underline the potential utility of zebra mussels in assessing viral contamination by measuring the accumulation of FRNAPHs in their tissue. This may ultimately enable stakeholders to use zebra mussels as a means of monitoring viral pollution in surface water. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Community Composition and Function of Bacteria in Activated Sludge of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants
Water 2021, 13(6), 852; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060852 - 20 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 564
Abstract
Municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) use functional microorganisms in activated sludge (AS) to reduce the environmental threat posed by wastewater. In this study, Illumina NovaSeq sequencing of 16S rRNA genes was performed to explore the microbial communities of AS at different stages of [...] Read more.
Municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) use functional microorganisms in activated sludge (AS) to reduce the environmental threat posed by wastewater. In this study, Illumina NovaSeq sequencing of 16S rRNA genes was performed to explore the microbial communities of AS at different stages of the two WWTP projects in Shenzhen, China. Results showed that Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes, and Nitrospirae were the dominant phyla in all the samples, with Proteobacteria being the most abundant and reaching a maximum proportion of 59.63%. There was no significant difference in biodiversity between the two water plants, but Stage 1 and Stage 2 were significantly different. The Mantel test indicated that nitrate, total nitrogen (TN), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and nutrients were essential factors affecting the bacterial community structure. FAPROTAX analysis emphasized that the leading functional gene families include nitrification, aerobic nitrite oxidation, human pathogens, and phototrophy. This study reveals changes in the community structure of AS in different treatment units of Banxuegang WWTP, which can help engineers to optimize the wastewater treatment process. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Monitoring Waterborne Pathogens in Surface and Drinking Waters. Are Water Treatment Plants (WTPs) Simultaneously Efficient in the Elimination of Enteric Viruses and Fecal Indicator Bacteria (FIB)?
Water 2020, 12(10), 2824; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102824 - 11 Oct 2020
Viewed by 1000
Abstract
Monitoring the quality of water is a requisite to prevent outbreaks related to waterborne diseases, predominantly caused by pathogens like enteric viruses, usually transmitted via the fecal-oral route. This study aimed to survey a group of enteric viruses (Enterovirus, Norovirus genogroups [...] Read more.
Monitoring the quality of water is a requisite to prevent outbreaks related to waterborne diseases, predominantly caused by pathogens like enteric viruses, usually transmitted via the fecal-oral route. This study aimed to survey a group of enteric viruses (Enterovirus, Norovirus genogroups I and II, and hepatitis A virus) in two surface water sources of drinking water, also intending to evaluate the extent of their elimination in the two water treatment plants (WTPs) involved in drinking water production. Correlations between these viruses and fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) were also evaluated. Positive samples for viral RNA were recurrently found by reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and quantified, in genomic copies per liter (gc/L) of sampled water. Viral RNAs were detected in 14 out of 27 samples of surface water, and 21 out of 36 samples of drinking water, NoV II having been the most frequently detected in both (0–78.6 gc/L and 0–12.5 gc/L, respectively). Both WTPs showed variable efficacies in the elimination of viral RNA. Only one correlation was found with FIB, between NoV II and intestinal enterococci. These results recommend the monitoring of enteric viruses over time and their inclusion in the mandatory analysis of water quality. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Coliphages as a Complementary Tool to Improve the Management of Urban Wastewater Treatments and Minimize Health Risks in Receiving Waters
Water 2021, 13(8), 1110; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081110 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 739
Abstract
Even in countries with extensive sanitation systems, outbreaks of waterborne infectious diseases are being reported. Current tendencies, such as the growing concentration of populations in large urban conurbations, climate change, aging of existing infrastructures, and emerging pathogens, indicate that the management of water [...] Read more.
Even in countries with extensive sanitation systems, outbreaks of waterborne infectious diseases are being reported. Current tendencies, such as the growing concentration of populations in large urban conurbations, climate change, aging of existing infrastructures, and emerging pathogens, indicate that the management of water resources will become increasingly challenging in the near future. In this context, there is an urgent need to control the fate of fecal microorganisms in wastewater to avoid the negative health consequences of releasing treated effluents into surface waters (rivers, lakes, etc.) or marine coastal water. On the other hand, the measurement of bacterial indicators yields insufficient information to gauge the human health risk associated with viral infections. It would therefore seem advisable to include a viral indicator—for example, somatic coliphages—to monitor the functioning of wastewater treatments. As indicated in the studies reviewed herein, the concentrations of somatic coliphages in raw sewage remain consistently high throughout the year worldwide, as occurs with bacterial indicators. The removal process for bacterial indicators and coliphages in traditional sewage treatments is similar, the concentrations in secondary effluents remaining sufficiently high for enumeration, without the need for cumbersome and costly concentration procedures. Additionally, according to the available data on indicator behavior, which is still limited for sewers but abundant for surface waters, coliphages persist longer than bacterial indicators once outside the gut. Based on these data, coliphages can be recommended as indicators to assess the efficiency of wastewater management procedures with the aim of minimizing the health impact of urban wastewater release in surface waters. Full article
Review
Mycobacterium avium Complex (MAC) in Water Distribution Systems and Household Plumbing in the United States
Water 2020, 12(12), 3338; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123338 - 28 Nov 2020
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Members of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) are waterborne, opportunistic pathogens whose characteristics make urban water distribution systems and household plumbing ideal habitats for their survival, persistence and growth. Rather than contaminants, MAC are colonists of drinking water systems. MAC are normal inhabitants [...] Read more.
Members of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) are waterborne, opportunistic pathogens whose characteristics make urban water distribution systems and household plumbing ideal habitats for their survival, persistence and growth. Rather than contaminants, MAC are colonists of drinking water systems. MAC are normal inhabitants of natural soils and water, and enter drinking water treatment systems through surface sources. A proportion of MAC survive transmission through the treatment plant, and regrow in the distribution system and household plumbing. Once within household plumbing, MAC adhere to surfaces and form biofilms, thus preventing their washout. The thermal tolerance of MAC leads to growth in water heating systems. Stagnation does not reduce MAC numbers, as MAC can grow at low oxygen levels. MAC present challenges to current water monitoring approaches as their numbers do not correlate with E. coli, fecal coliforms or heterotrophic plate count bacteria. Full article
Back to TopTop