Author(s): Shannon KE, Lee DY, Trevors JT, Beaudette LA
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Abstract Bacteria were detected at five stages of municipal wastewater treatment using TaqMan(R) real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). Thirteen probe and primer sets were tested for diverse pathogens that may be present in wastewater, including Aeromonas hydrophila, Bacillus cereus, Clostridium perfringens, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, E. coli O157:H7, Helicobacter pylori, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Legionella pneumophila, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella sp., and Staphylococcus aureus. The sensitivity of the assay was 100 fg of genomic DNA (=22 gene copies), based on a standard curve generated using A. hydrophila purified DNA. Samples from five stages of wastewater treatment were collected, including raw wastewater, primary effluents, mixed liquor, waste activated sludge and final effluents. In duplicate samples, E. coli, K. pneumoniae, C. perfringens and E. faecalis were detected throughout the wastewater process, and their numbers decreased by 3.52-3.98, 4.23-4.33, 3.15-3.39, and 3.24 orders of magnitude respectively, between the raw wastewater and final effluent stage. This qPCR method was effective for the detection of pathogens in wastewater and confirmed that the risk of exposure to pathogens in the wastewater discharge was well within the Environment Canada guidelines.
This article was published in Sci Total Environ
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development