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J Appl Microbiol. 1997 Mar;82(3):281-6.

Phages of enteric bacteria in fresh water with different levels of faecal pollution.

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Departament de Microbiologia, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


Levels of somatic and F-specific coliphages, and phages infecting Bacteroides fragilis were measured in 257 samples collected in different freshwater environments with different levels and characteristics of faecal pollution. In samples with recent pollution of domestic origin, the numbers of the three groups of phages were highly correlated, thus showing that their excretion is fairly constant. In this set of samples somatic coliphages, which were the most abundant, and F-specific coliphages outnumbered significantly Bact. fragilis phages. Normalized lines of the numbers of the three groups of phages in water samples and their sediments show that they settle similarly. The correlation between the values of the three groups of phages was not observed in waters with intermediate levels of pollution. An increase in the relative numbers of coliphages with respect to numbers of phages infecting Bact. fragilis was observed. In waters with persistent faecal pollution a dramatic change was recorded in the relative numbers of the different groups of phages. Phages infecting Bact. fragilis suffered the lowest reduction in numbers.

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