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Comparison of culturable fecal coliforms and Escherichia coli enumeration in freshwaters

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Abstract:

Fecal coliforms (FC) counts were compared with Escherichia coli counts in differently contaminated freshwater samples (n = 166). FC were enumerated by plate count on triphenyl 2,3,5-tetrazolium chloride Tergitol medium. Escherichia coli were enumerated by the most probable number microplate method based on the detection of glucuronidase activity. FC and E.coli counts were highly correlated; an average E.coli/FC ratio equal to 0.77 was found, meaning that on average, 77% of FC were E.coli. Knowing the E.coli/FC ratio allows us to convert the historical microbiological quality data expressed in FC counts into E.coli abundance and thus to compare with present and future monitoring data that are (or will be) based on E.coli enumeration.

Le nombre de coliformes fécaux (CF) a été comparé au nombre de Escherichia coli trouvés dans des échantillons d’eau douce contaminés de façon différentielle. La numération des CF a été réalisée par comptage sur plaque sur du milieu chlorure triphénilique de 2,3,5-tetrazolium Tergitol. La numération de E.coli a été faite par la méthode du nombre le plus probable (NPP) sur microplaque, basée sur la détection de l’activité glucuronidase. Les quantités de CF et de E.coli étaient en forte corrélation; un ratio E.coli/FC moyen égal à 0,77 a été trouvé, indiquant qu’en moyenne E.coli constituait 77% des CF. La connaissance du ratio E.coli/FC nous permet de convertir des données provenant de l’historique de la qualité microbiologique d’un site, exprimées en nombre de CF, en quantité de E.coli et ainsi les comparer avec les données de surveillance actuelles et futures qui sont (ou seront) basées sur la numération de E.coli.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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