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Growth and Recovery of Selected Gram-Negative Bacteria in Reconditioned Wastewater

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Previous reports indicate that Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp., and Vibrio cholerae can grow in nutrient-limited, reconditioned wastewater over the temperature range of 4 to 46°C when the biological oxygen demand of this water is <2, while its coliform growth response (CGR) is 2. In the current study, we investigated the growth response of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Shigella spp., Vibrio vulnificus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in water samples with a CGR of the temperature range of 4 to 50°C. Both the nonselective media, tryptic soy agar, and the selective media used to identify the pathogen were used for their recovery. The selective media were thiosulfate-citrate-bile-sucrose (TCBS), MacConkey agar (MAC), and Pseudomonas isolation agar (PIA) for the Vibrio, Shigella, and Pseudomonas spp., respectively. V. parahaemolyticus numbers declined rapidly after surviving for 6 days under the nutrient-limiting growth conditions. Shigella spp. did not grow but survived for 28 days at 4 to 25°C. V. vulnificus grew over the narrow temperature range of 12 to 21°C and survived for 21 days at the higher and lower temperature ranges. P. aeruginosa survived and grew during the 14-day test period at 13 to 35°C. Recovery on the nonselective agar gave statistically (P > 0.05) higher numbers than the respective selective media commonly used for these pathogens. These results indicate that caution should be used in attempting direct recoveries using selective media of the four gram-negative bacteria species used in this study from the nutrient-limited water environment.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food Safety Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Eastern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA 2: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 26 West Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268, USA

Publication date: 2001-11-01

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