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Isolation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in storm drains in the city of Mar del Plata with bacterial contamination of fecal origin

, : Isolation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in storm drains in the city of Mar del Plata with bacterial contamination of fecal origin. Revista Argentina de Microbiologia 32(3): 161-164

The present study was focused on the isolation and characterization of Escherichia coli, particularly the serotype O157:H7, from five combined-sewer outflows waters, which drain into the beaches of Mar del Plata. Seventeen hemolytic uremic syndrome cases were reported in Mar del Plata during the sampling period (May 1995-April 1996) in children between 9 month- and 5 year-old, and 3 deaths were recorded. E. coli identification was carried out by biochemical tests. E. coli was detected in 75% of the samples and a total of 98 strains were selected, with 11 sorbol non-fermenting strains. The strains belonged to the O1, O6, O44, O86a, O119 and O168 serogroups. As none of the known virulence factors was detected, strains could not be grouped within any of the diarrheagenic E. coli categories. None of the E. coli strains belonged to the O157:H7 serotype, but E. coli isolation showed fecal contamination in the combined-sewer outflows. Since their waters drain into beaches for recreational use, it is necessary to emphasize the detection of E. coli that would cause severe human illness. Bacterial pollution in combined-sewer outflows draining into Mar del Plata coasts might represent a high risk for human health.


PMID: 11008710

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