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Title: Global distribution of human-associated fecal genetic markers in reference samples from six continents
Authors: Mayer, René E.
Reischer, Georg H.
Ixenmaier, Simone K.
Derx, Julia
Blaschke, Alfred Paul
Ebdon, James E.
Linke, Rita
Egle, Lukas
Ahmed, Warish
Blanch, Anicet R.
Byamukama, Denis
Savill, Marion
Mushi, Douglas
Cristóbal, Héctor A.
Edge, Thomas A.
Schade, Margit A.
Aslan, Asli
Brooks, Yolanda M.
Sommer, Regina
Masago, Yoshifumi
Sato, Maria I.
Taylor, Huw D.
Rose, Joan B.
Wuertz, Stefan
Shanks, Orin C.
Piringer, Harald
Mach, Robert L.
Savio, Domenico
Zessner, Matthias
Farnleitner, Andreas H.
Keywords: Microbial Source Tracking
Pollution Microbiology
Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Mayer, R. E., Reischer, G. H., Ixenmaier, S. K., Derx, J., Blaschke, A. P., Ebdon, J. E., . . . & Farnleitner, A. H. (2018). Global distribution of human-associated fecal genetic markers in reference samples from six continents. Environmental Science & Technology, 52(9), 5076-5084. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b04438
Series/Report no.: Environmental Science & Technology
Abstract: Numerous bacterial genetic markers are available for the molecular detection of human sources of fecal pollution in environmental waters. However, widespread application is hindered by a lack of knowledge regarding geographical stability, limiting implementation to a small number of well-characterized regions. This study investigates the geographic distribution of five human-associated genetic markers (HF183/BFDrev, HF183/BacR287, BacHum-UCD, BacH, and Lachno2) in municipal wastewaters (raw and treated) from 29 urban and rural wastewater treatment plants (750–4 400 000 population equivalents) from 13 countries spanning six continents. In addition, genetic markers were tested against 280 human and nonhuman fecal samples from domesticated, agricultural and wild animal sources. Findings revealed that all genetic markers are present in consistently high concentrations in raw (median log10 7.2–8.0 marker equivalents (ME) 100 mL–1) and biologically treated wastewater samples (median log10 4.6–6.0 ME 100 mL–1) regardless of location and population. The false positive rates of the various markers in nonhuman fecal samples ranged from 5% to 47%. Results suggest that several genetic markers have considerable potential for measuring human-associated contamination in polluted environmental waters. This will be helpful in water quality monitoring, pollution modeling and health risk assessment (as demonstrated by QMRAcatch) to guide target-oriented water safety management across the globe.
ISSN: 0013-936X
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b04438
Research Centres: Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences and Engineering 
Rights: © 2018 American Chemical Society. This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the author and source are cited.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SCELSE Journal Articles

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