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.

Related Articles


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 October 25, 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 October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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