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Mar Pollut Bull. 2001 Jan;42(1):31-5.

Clostridium perfringens as a potential indicator for the presence of sewage solids in marine sediments.

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California State University, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032, USA.


Marine sediment cores collected from several depths of water and distances from a California sewage outfall were tested to see if sediments influenced by sewage solids were a reservoir of enteric pathogens, and if concentrations of indicator bacteria were related to the presence of sewage solids. Vertical distributions of microorganisms in marine sediments were determined; there was a decrease of indicator bacteria with increasing sediment depth. Aeromonas was randomly isolated, but none of the enteric bacterial pathogens or viruses were detected. While classic indicator bacteria were of little value in predicting the presence of pathogens, or relative amounts of sewage solids, Clostridium perfringens may be a suitable indicator. Clostridium perfringens concentrations were not related to the presence of pathogens in sediments.

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