Comparison of molecular markers to detect fresh sewage in environmental waters

Ahmed, Warish, Goonetilleke, Ashantha, Powell, Daniel, Chauhan, Kanika, & Gardner, Ted (2009) Comparison of molecular markers to detect fresh sewage in environmental waters. Water Research, 43(19), pp. 4908-4917.

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Human-specific Bacteroides HF183 (HS-HF183), human-specific Enterococci faecium esp (HS-esp), human-specific adenoviruses (HS-AVs) and human-specific polyomaviruses (HS-PVs) assays were evaluated in freshwater, seawater and distilled water to detect fresh sewage. The sewage spiked water samples were also tested for the concentrations of traditional fecal indicators (i.e., Escherichia coli, enterococci and Clostridium perfringens) and enteric viruses such as enteroviruses (EVs), sapoviruses (SVs), and torquetenoviruses (TVs). The overall host-specificity of the HS-HF183 marker to differentiate between humans and other animals was 98%. However, the HS-esp, HS-AVs and HS-PVs showed 100% hostspecificity. All the human-specific markers showed >97% sensitivity to detect human fecal pollution. E. coli, enterococci and, C. perfringens were detected up to dilutions of sewage 10_5, 10_4 and 10_3 respectively.HS-esp, HS-AVs, HS-PVs, SVs and TVs were detected up to dilution of sewage 10_4 whilst EVs were detected up to dilution 10_5. The ability of the HS-HF183 marker to detect freshsewagewas3–4 orders ofmagnitude higher than that of the HS-esp and viral markers. The ability to detect fresh sewage in freshwater, seawater and distilled water matrices was similar for human-specific bacterial and viral marker. Based on our data, it appears that human-specific molecular markers are sensitive measures of fresh sewage pollution, and the HS-HF183 marker appears to be the most sensitive among these markers in terms of detecting fresh sewage. However, the presence of the HS-HF183 marker in environmental waters may not necessarily indicate the presence of enteric viruses due to their high abundance in sewage compared to enteric viruses. More research is required on the persistency of these markers in environmental water samples in relation to traditional fecal indicators and enteric pathogens.

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ID Code: 29215
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Microbial source tracking, Sewage pollution, Molecular markers, Enteric viruses, Water quality
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2009.09.047
ISSN: 0043-1354
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700) > Environmental Engineering Modelling (090702)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Monitoring (050206)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Deposited On: 10 Dec 2009 01:04
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:57

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