A Detection of Water-borne Bacterial and Protozoal Pathogens in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the USA

Volume 6, Issue 3, June 2021     |     PP. 45-60      |     PDF (577 K)    |     Pub. Date: June 23, 2021
DOI: 10.54647/biology18129    69 Downloads     3296 Views  


Konstantina Stavroulaki, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
Catherine Santanello, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, Edwardsville, Illinois

The World Health Organization has emphasized the importance of screening water used for agricultural purposes in order to prevent potential water-borne and food-bone outbreaks.1 These outbreaks are linked to a variety of pathogens, especially Gram-negative bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. Multiple pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli and Giardia lamblia have been shown to be leading causative agents of water-borne and food-borne related infections.1 The purpose of this investigation was to detect the presence of these species in water collected from irrigation points and other municipal sources found in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the USA, and to compare our multi-national results. Another goal of this project was to evaluate the long-term efficacy of portable water filtration systems by screening for pre- or post- bacterial pathogens found in water samples. Results are based on polymerase chain reaction, gel electrophoresis, and direct immunofluorescence microscopy techniques to identify the microorganisms in our samples. Overall, of the Escherichia coli strains tested (Enteropathogenic/EPEC, Enterohemorrhagic/EHEC, Enteroaggregative/EAEC, and Enterotoxigenic/ETEC), we detected the EPEC and EHEC strains in our sample pool. In specific, we concluded that 75% of our water samples collected from international and domestic locations were positive for EPEC, and 8% of our samples were positive for EHEC. Regarding Giardia lamblia, we found all samples collected from Costa Rica and the United States positive for the protozoan. Finally, nearly all (89%) of the filters cleared all Escherichia coli contaminants.

water-borne pathogens, E. coli strains, Giardia lamblia, agricultural water

Cite this paper
Konstantina Stavroulaki, Catherine Santanello, A Detection of Water-borne Bacterial and Protozoal Pathogens in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the USA , SCIREA Journal of Biology. Volume 6, Issue 3, June 2021 | PP. 45-60. 10.54647/biology18129


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