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Epidemiol Infect. 1989 Dec;103(3):603-11.

The survival patterns of selected faecal bacteria in tropical fresh waters.

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UNICEF, Freetown, Sierra Leone.


The survival of various faecal bacteria used as indicators of the faecal contamination of water supplies has been investigated in a tropical environment (Sierra Leone). Isolates representing the thermotolerant coliform (TtC) and faecal streptococcus (FS) groups, Clostridium perfringens and Salmonella spp. were studied over a 48 h period of immersion in water from three different sources. Survival patterns varied according to source type, but some general observations were made: a portion of the TtC group was apparently capable of substantial regrowth; FS organisms died off at a faster rate than TtC organisms initially, but survived longer; vegetative cells of C. perfringens died off rapidly; and Salmonella spp. could survive for as long as the other faecal organisms tested. The implications of results for the analysis of tropical waters for faecal contamination are discussed.

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