Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

E. coli as sole indicator of water pollution questioned

Date:
March 1, 2010
Source:
Teagasc
Summary:
New research investigating pathogen survival in soils has found that E. coli can become integrated into the indigenous microbial community in soils and survive for more than nine years, considerably longer than scientists initially thought.

In Ireland, bacterial contamination of water is a national concern, with the Environmental Protection Agency reporting that over 25% of groundwater samples were contaminated with E. coli in the 2004 to 2006 period. E. coli is the most important indicator used in Ireland and its presence indicates water is unfit for human consumption. It has long been thought that E. coli can only survive for short periods of time in the environment, hence its almost universal use as an indicator of recent faecal contamination of waterways.

However, new research investigating pathogen survival in Irish soils conducted by Teagasc Johnstown Castle Environment Research Centre and NUI Galway has found that E. coli can become integrated into the indigenous microbial community in soils and survive for more than nine years, considerably longer than scientists initially thought.

"This has important implications for the indicator status of E. coli, suggesting that the presence of E. coli in surface or groundwaters may not be indicative of recent faecal contamination," explains researcher Fiona Brennan in TResearch, the Teagasc Research and Innovation magazine.

"It also suggests that E. coli persistence may be favoured in some soil types and these soils may represent a greater risk of bacterial leaching," she explains. Research conducted at Johnstown Castle has investigated bacterial transport in grassland soils both in situ at field sites and in field lysimeter (soil monolith) units.

In conjunction with NUI Galway, Teagasc researchers are now using proteomics to investigate the unique properties of E. coli that allow it to persist in the soil for such long periods. Initial findings have found that the environmentally persistent E. coli produce specialised proteins, including 'cold shock' and 'stress response' proteins, which may assist in the survival and growth of the organism at lower temperatures. E. coli's ability to survive for prolonged periods of time in soil may compromise its use as the sole indicator of faecal contamination of water.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Teagasc. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Teagasc. "E. coli as sole indicator of water pollution questioned." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100226093739.htm>.
Teagasc. (2010, March 1). E. coli as sole indicator of water pollution questioned. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100226093739.htm
Teagasc. "E. coli as sole indicator of water pollution questioned." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100226093739.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins