About: Fecal coliform is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 4966 publications have been published within this topic receiving 117835 citations.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: It was shown that both E. coli and V. cholerae undergo a “nonrecoverable” stage of existence, but remain viable, and the “die-off” or “decay” concept may not be completely valid.
Abstract: Plating methods for estimating survival of indicator organisms, such asEscherichia coli, and water-borne pathogens includingVibrio cholerae, have severe limitations when used to estimate viable populations of these organisms in the aquatic environment. By combining the methods of immunofluorescent microscopy, acridine orange direct counting, and direct viable counting, with culture methods such as indirect enumeration by most probable number (MPN) estimation and direct plating, it was shown that bothE. coli andV. cholerae undergo a "nonrecoverable" stage of existence, but remain viable. Following 2-week incubations in saltwater (5-25%o NaCl) microcosms, total counts, measured by direct microscopic examination of fluorescent antibody and acridine orange stained cells, remained unchanged, whereas MPN estimates and plate counts exhibited rapid decline. Results of direct viable counting, a procedure permitting estimate of substrate-responsive viable cells by microscopic examination, revealed that a significant proportion of the nonculturable cells were, indeed, viable. Thus, survival of pathogens in the aquatic environment must be re-assessed. The "die-off" or "decay" concept may not be completely valid. Furthermore, the usefulness of the coliform and fecal coliform indices for evaluating water quality for public health purposes may be seriously compromised, in the light of the finding reported here.
TL;DR: Comparison with other practical candidate fecal indicators shows that E. coli is far superior overall, and under most circumstances it is possible to design a monitoring program that permits public health protection at a modest cost.
Abstract: Public health protection requires an indicator of fecal pollution. It is not necessary to analyse drinking water for all pathogens. Escherichia coli is found in all mammal faeces at concentrations of 10 log 9(-1), but it does not multiply appreciably in the environment. In the 1890s, it was chosen as the biological indicator of water treatment safety. Because of method deficiencies, E. coli surrogates such as the 'fecal coliform' and total coliforms tests were developed and became part of drinking water regulations. With the advent of the Defined Substrate Technology in the late 1980s, it became possible to analyse drinking water directly for E. coli (and, simultaneously, total coliforms) inexpensively and simply. Accordingly, E. coli was re-inserted in the drinking water regulations. E. coli survives in drinking water for between 4 and 12 weeks, depending on environmental conditions (temperature, microflora, etc.). Bacteria and viruses are approximately equally oxidant-sensitive, but parasites are less so. Under the conditions in distribution systems, E. coli will be much more long-lived. Therefore, under most circumstances it is possible to design a monitoring program that permits public health protection at a modest cost. Drinking water regulations currently require infrequent monitoring which may not adequately detect intermittent contamination events; however, it is cost-effective to markedly increase testing with E. coli to better protect the public's health. Comparison with other practical candidate fecal indicators shows that E. coli is far superior overall.
TL;DR: It was concluded that safe drinking water for all is one of the major challenges of the 21st century and that microbiological control of drinking water should be the norm everywhere.
Abstract: Water is essential to life, but many people do not have access to clean and safe drinking water and many die of waterborne bacterial infections. In this review a general characterization of the most important bacterial diseases transmitted through water— cholera, typhoid fever and bacillary dysentery—is presented, focusing on the biology and ecology of the causal agents and on the diseases' characteristics and their life cycles in the environment. The importance of pathogenic Escherichia coli strains and emerging pathogens in drinking water-transmitted diseases is also briefly discussed. Microbiological water analysis is mainly based on the concept of fecal indicator bacteria. The main bacteria present in human and animal feces (focusing on their behavior in their hosts and in the environment) and the most important fecal indicator bacteria are presented and discussed (focusing on the advantages and limitations of their use as markers). Important sources of bacterial fecal pollution of environmental waters are also briefly indicated. In the last topic it is discussed which indicators of fecal pollution should be used in current drinking water microbiological analysis. It was concluded that safe drinking water for all is one of the major challenges of the 21st century and that microbiological control of drinking water should be the norm everywhere. Routine basic microbiological analysis of drinking water should be carried out by assaying the presence of Escherichia coli by culture methods. Whenever financial resources are available, fecal coliform determinations should be complemented with the quantification of enterococci. More studies are needed in order to check if ammonia is reliable for a preliminary screening for emergency fecal pollution outbreaks. Financial resources should be devoted to a better understanding of the ecology and behavior of human and animal fecal bacteria in environmental waters.
TL;DR: It was concluded that application of the usual decay model to the fecal coliform data was confounded by the complex relationship between growth and predation.
Abstract: The survival of culturable fecal coliforms, fecal streptococci, and Clostridium perfringens spores in freshwater and marine sediments from sites near sewage outfalls was studied. In laboratory studies, the inhibition of protozoan predators with cycloheximide allowed the fecal coliforms to grow in the sediment whereas the presence of predators resulted in a net die-off. C. perfringens spores did not appear either to be affected by predators or to die off throughout the duration of the experiments (28 days). Studies using in situ membrane diffusion chambers showed that, with the exception of C. perfringens, die-off of the test organisms to 10% of their initial numbers occurred in both marine and freshwater sediments within 85 days. The usual exponential decay model could not be applied to the sediment survival data, with the exception of the data for fecal streptococci. It was concluded that application of the usual decay model to the fecal coliform data was confounded by the complex relationship between growth and predation. The survival of seeded Escherichia coli in marine sediment was studied by using an enumeration method which detected viable but nonculturable bacteria. Throughout the duration of the experiment (68 days), the same proportion of E. coli organisms remained culturable, suggesting that sediment provides a favorable, nonstarvation environment for the bacteria.
TL;DR: Investigations concerning the role of distribution system biofilms on water quality were conducted at a drinking water utility in New Jersey, which experienced long-term bacteriological problems in the distribution system, while treatment plant effluents were uniformly negative for coliform bacteria.
Abstract: Investigations concerning the role of distribution system biofilms on water quality were conducted at a drinking water utility in New Jersey. The utility experienced long-term bacteriological problems in the distribution system, while treatment plant effluents were uniformly negative for coliform bacteria. Results of a monitoring program showed increased coliform levels as the water moved from the treatment plant through the distribution system. Increased coliform densities could not be accounted for by growth of the cells in the water column alone. Identification of coliform bacteria showed that species diversity increased as water flowed through the study area. All materials in the distribution system had high densities of heterotrophic plate count bacteria, while high levels of coliforms were detected only in iron tubercles. Coliform bacteria with the same biochemical profile were found both in distribution system biofilms and in the water column. Assimilable organic carbon determinations showed that carbon levels declined as water flowed through the study area. Maintenance of a 1.0-mg/liter free chlorine residual was insufficient to control coliform occurrences. Flushing and pigging the study area was not an effective control for coliform occurrences in that section. Because coliform bacteria growing in distribution system biofilms may mask the presence of indicator organisms resulting from a true breakdown of treatment barriers, the report recommends that efforts continue to find methods to control growth of coliform bacteria in pipeline biofilms.
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