E3S Web Conf.
Volume 44, 201810th Conference on Interdisciplinary Problems in Environmental Protection and Engineering EKO-DOK 2018
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||03 July 2018|
The prevalence of virulence genes specific for Escherichia coli in wastewater samples from wastewater treatment plants with the activated sludge process
Department of Environmental Microbiology, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Treated wastewater evacuated into the aquatic environment is a potential reservoir of pathogenic and virulent bacteria. The aim of this study was to analyze the presence of genes encoding virulence in E. coli bacteria in samples of untreated (UWW) and treated (TWW) wastewater from 13 wastewater treatment plants deploying various sewage treatment methods. Wastewater samples were passed through polycarbonate membrane filters, and genomic DNA was extracted. Virulence genes specific for E. coli were detected by standard PCR and were grouped according to their association with different pathotypes. The stx2 gene was most prevalent in samples of UWW, and the eae gene was most frequently detected in samples of TWW. An analysis of virulence markers revealed a predominance of genes characteristic of STEC and EIEC pathotypes. The highest variability of virulence genes was observed in wastewater treatment plants where sewage is treated mechanically and biologically, and the lowest variability was noted in plants deploying the A2/O treatment process (3-stage Bardenpho). In several plants, the prevalence of virulence genes increased after treatment. The results of this study suggest that wastewater treatment plants are significant reservoirs of virulent bacteria. The evacuation of TWW into water bodies can contribute to the dissemination of virulence genes in the environment, which poses a serious health hazard for humans and animals.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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