Phenotypic variations of enterococci in surface waters: analysis of biochemical fingerprinting data from multi-catchments

Ahmed, Warish & Katouli, Mohammad (2008) Phenotypic variations of enterococci in surface waters: analysis of biochemical fingerprinting data from multi-catchments. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 105(2), pp. 452-458.

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ABSTRACT Aims: The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence of environmentally adapted enterococci strains by analysing biochemical fingerprinting (BF) data of 3952 enterococci isolates collected over 5 years from the six catchments in Southeast Queensland, Australia.

Methods and Results: A BF method was used to type 3952 enterococci isolates from six catchments. The environmental isolates were compared with a large existing BF library comprised of 5803 enterococci isolates from 10 host groups. Environmental isolates belonged to 801 biochemical phenotypes (BPTs), of which, an average of 29.2% was specific to each catchment. When compared with the BF library, an average of 79·5% BPTs from each catchment was identical to those in the library (i.e. host-origin BPTs). The remaining 20·5% was regarded as non-host origin BPTs, as they were not in the library and constituted only 5·3% of the total isolates tested for each catchment.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that less than 5% of studied environmental strains was not identical to those in the library and seemed to be of environmental origin. From a microbial source tracking context, such low level of environmentally adapted strains can have a minimal impact on the performance of the library-based methods if a large number of isolates were tested from both the host groups and environmental waters.

Significance and Impact of the Study: These data shed light on the importance of the size and representativeness of library–based source-tracking methods and their implications for the identification of faecal pollution in environmental waters.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
8 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 14056
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2008.03763.x
ISSN: 1364-5072
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Blackwell Publishing
Deposited On: 14 Jul 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 15:05

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