Occurrence of fecal bacteria and zoonotic pathogens in different water bodies: supporting water quality management

Vânia Ferreira*, Rui Magalhães, Paula Teixeira, Paula Maria Lima Castro, Cristina Sousa Coutinho Calheiros*

*Autor correspondente para este trabalho

Resultado de pesquisarevisão de pares

5 Citações (Scopus)
26 Transferências (Pure)


Water contaminated with microbiological and chemical constituents can cause a variety of diseases. Water bodies may become contaminated by wild and domestic animal feces, agricultural runoff or sewage, and are often overlooked as a reservoir and source of human infection by pathogenic microorganisms. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the presence of the zoonotic pathogens, Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes, in various water bodies located in urban and rural areas in the north of Portugal. Water samples were collected from six sites, including natural and artificial ponds, in two different time periods. Several water quality physicochemical parameters, as well as fecal indicator bacteria, were evaluated. High levels of total coliforms (>1.78 log CFU/100 mL) were detected in all samples, and substantial numbers of Enterococcus (>2.32 log CFU/100 mL) were detected in two ponds located in a city park and in an urban garden. Escherichia coli counts ranged from undetectable to 2.76 log CFU/100 mL. Salmonella spp. was isolated from two sites, the city park and the natural pond, while L. monocytogenes was isolated from three sites: the city garden, the natural pond and the artificial pond, both in the rural area. These data show that artificial and natural ponds are a reservoir of fecal indicator bacteria and enteric and zoonotic pathogens. This may impact the potential risks of human infections by potential contaminants during recreational activities, being important for assessing the water quality for strategic management of these areas.
Idioma originalEnglish
Número do artigo780
Número de páginas11
RevistaWater (Switzerland)
Número de emissão5
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - 1 mar. 2022

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