Contamination of surface waters with faeces may lead to increased public risk of human exposure to pathogens through drinking water supply, aquaculture, and recreational activities. Determining the source(s) of contamination is important for assessing the degree of risk to public health, and for selecting appropriate mitigation measures. Phage-based microbial source tracking (MST) techniques have been promoted as effective, simple and low-cost. The intestinal enterococci are a faecal “indicator of choice” in many parts of the world for determining water quality, and recently, phages capable of infecting Enterococcus faecalis have been proposed as a potential alternative indicator of human faecal contamination. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate critically the suitability and efficacy of phages infecting host strains of Enterococcus species as a low-cost tool for MST.
|Date of Award||2012|