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Chapter 13 : Conclusions and Future Use of Fecal Indicator Bacteria for Monitoring Water Quality and Protecting Human Health
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This chapter focuses on the future use of fecal indicator bacteria for monitoring water quality and protecting human health. The mammalian gastrointestinal (GI) tract is dominated by microorganisms from the following phyla Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Verrumicrobia, and Fusobacteria, in a host-specific manner. The fecal indicator bacteria in the water column physically adsorb and desorb from particles and eventually make their way into soils, sediments, and sand. The negative impact of these pathogens on human health is likely to worsen in the future as many bacteria have been shown to have resistance to multiple antibiotics. Future applications of array-based technology to water quality monitoring will likely become more routine in the future and may soon obviate the use of fecal indicator bacteria as surrogates for pathogens. Deterministic modeling of fecal indicator bacteria in surface waters also needs more research, particularly on pathogen-particle interactions, bacterial inactivation and regrowth, and model validation. More research is also needed to better understand bacterial flux and patterns for modeling water quality at beaches and waterways impacted by nonpoint sources of bacteria. As the access to clean water is fundamental around the world, it is important to have suitable techniques for rapid and accurate detection and quantification of fecal indicator bacteria to protect water quality for drinking, recreational use, and food production.
Key Concept Ranking
- Microbial Ecology