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J Appl Microbiol. 2002;92(2):338-47.

Removal and inactivation of indicator bacteriophages in fresh waters.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology. University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, Aigües Ter-Llobregat (ATLL), Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

AIMS:

The removal and inactivation of faecal coliform (FC) bacteria, enterococci (ENT), sulphite-reducing clostridia (SRC), somatic coliphages, F-specific RNA bacteriophages and bacteriophages infecting Bacteroides fragilis in fresh waters.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Removal was studied in two areas of a river. The results showed different removal of each group of microbes. Faecal coliform bacteria were removed faster than any other, whereas SRC and bacteriophages infecting Bact. fragilis were the most persistent. Inactivation was measured by 'in situ' experiments, which showed significant differences in survival of the different groups of bacterial and bacteriophage indicators. The SRC and bacteriophages were more resistant than faecal coliforms and enterococci, with the exception of F-specific RNA bacteriophages in the summer. Inactivation experiments with pure cultures of bacteriophages confirmed that phage B40-8 of Bact. fragilis was the most resistant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Bacteria and bacteriophages show different resistance to natural inactivation. The use of phages allows information to be obtained in addition to that provided by bacterial indicators. Somatic coliphages and phages infecting Bact. fragilis might supply that indicator function.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

Confirmation was obtained that bacteriophages provided additional information to that provided by bacterial indicators to monitor the natural inactivation of viruses and/or pathogens.

PMID:
11849363
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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