The application of a recently isolated strain of bacteroides (GB-124) to identify human sources of faecal pollution in a temperate river catchment
Ebdon, J., Muniesa, M. and Taylor, H.D. (2007) The application of a recently isolated strain of bacteroides (GB-124) to identify human sources of faecal pollution in a temperate river catchment Water Research, 41 (16). pp. 3683-3690. ISSN 0043-1354
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Recent work has suggested that bacteriophages infecting Bacteroides are a potential tool for faecal source tracking, but that different host strains may be needed for different geographic areas. This study used a recently identified strain of Bacteroides (GB-124) to detect human sources of faecal pollution in a river catchment in southeast England (UK). A total of 306 river water, municipal wastewater and animal samples were obtained over a 16-month period. Bacteriophages capable of infecting GB-124 were present in all municipal wastewaters but were not detected in faecal samples from animals, and were detected at significantly lower levels (P< 0.001) in river waters directly downstream of a dairy farm. This last observation was despite the presence of high levels of faecal indicator bacteria at this site. The study suggests that GB-124 appears to be specific to human faeces. As such it may represent an effective and low-cost method of faecal source identification.
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