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Revista argentina de microbiología

versión On-line ISSN 1851-7617


BREZINA, S. S.  y  BALDINI, M. D.. Detection of somatic coliphages as indicators of faecal contamination in estuarine waters. Rev. argent. microbiol. [online]. 2008, vol.40, n.1, pp. 72-74. ISSN 1851-7617.

The appearance of enteric disease outbreaks associated with the use of waters considered bacteriologically suitable, calls for the search of new and more precise indicators. Samples of estuarine water were collected in order to quantify E. coli and E. coli ATCC 13706 somatic coliphages and to compare the usefulness of the latter to detect faecal contamination when the concentration of traditional indicators is not quantifiable. Statistical analyses suggested the division of sampling sites into two groups: group I and group II, according to the minor or major level of faecal pollution respectively registered. In group II a high correlation between the coliphages and E. coli (r: 0.73 p<0.01) was detected. E. coli always exceeded coliphage abundance. In group I, this relationship was statistically significant (r: 0.55 p< 0.05), coliphage counts were higher than those of E. coli and were detected in the absence of the latter. In summary, the use of E. coli ATCC 13706 somatic coliphages is proposed as a complementary tool for the diagnosis of the level of faecal contamination of estuarine waters, especially in areas of low pollution.

Palabras clave : Somatic coliphages; Faecal contamination; Estuarine water.

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