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Applying Molecular Tools for Microbial Source Tracking in the Duck Creek Watershed

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The Duck Creek Watershed located in Hamilton County in the state of Ohio, is affected by the presence of high concentrations of fecal organisms in the streams. We seek to identify and quantify potential sources of fecal bacteria, including pathogenic strains of E. coli (O157:H7) from combined sewer overflows (CSO), and watershed runoff. The most commonly used fecal indicators are E. coli and Enterococcus sp.; however, these bacteria can survive and grow in environmental reservoirs like benthic sediments and inside algae making them unreliable for this purpose. Thus the presence of the obligate anaerobe Bacteroides sp. have been used to identify the origin of fecal contamination in Duck Creek. To accomplish this we have done a detailed genetic-based forensic analysis with two main thrusts: 1) microbial and host identification through nucleic acid amplification techniques and 2) spatiotemporal localization of source inputs based on sampling schedule and location.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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