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Appl Environ Microbiol. Sep 1981; 42(3): 433–438.
PMCID: PMC244032

Assessment of bifidobacteria as indicators of human fecal pollution.


The distribution of bifidobacteria in the environment has been examined by using YN-6 medium. Although feces of humans, chickens, cows, dogs, pigs, horses, cats, sheep, beavers, goats, and turkeys were examined, bifidobacteria were isolated only from the feces of humans and swine. The frequency and distribution of component species of human fecal isolates were as in isolates from raw sewage. Bifidobacterium longum and B. adolescentis were most often isolated and in the highest densities. The levels of bifidobacteria in raw sewage were in the range of 10(6) organisms/100 ml, and the effect of primary and secondary sewage treatment on the number of viable organisms present was not significant. High densities of bifidobacteria were found in all samples from septic tanks. It was found that bifidobacteria did not survive as well as Escherichia coli in either fresh or marine waters. The ratio of bifidobacteria to E. coli is an indication of the age and of the effectiveness of treatment of sewage effluent.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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