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      Megacities as Sources for Pathogenic Bacteria in Rivers and Their Fate Downstream

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      International Journal of Microbiology

      Hindawi Publishing Corporation

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          Abstract

          Poor sanitation, poor treatments of waste water, as well as catastrophic floods introduce pathogenic bacteria into rivers, infecting and killing many people. The goal of clean water for everyone has to be achieved with a still growing human population and their rapid concentration in large cities, often megacities. How long introduced pathogens survive in rivers and what their niches are remain poorly known but essential to control water-borne diseases in megacities. Biofilms are often niches for various pathogens because they possess high resistances against environmental stress. They also facilitate gene transfers of antibiotic resistance genes which become an increasing health problem. Beside biofilms, amoebae are carriers of pathogenic bacteria and niches for their survival. An overview about our current understanding of the fate and niches of pathogens in rivers, the multitude of microbial community interactions, and the impact of severe flooding, a prerequisite to control pathogens in polluted rivers, is given.

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          Most cited references 153

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          Direct observations have clearly shown that biofilm bacteria predominate, numerically and metabolically, in virtually all nutrient-sufficient ecosystems. Therefore, these sessile organisms predominate in most of the environmental, industrial, and medical problems and processes of interest to microbiologists. If biofilm bacteria were simply planktonic cells that had adhered to a surface, this revelation would be unimportant, but they are demonstrably and profoundly different. We first noted that biofilm cells are at least 500 times more resistant to antibacterial agents. Now we have discovered that adhesion triggers the expression of a sigma factor that derepresses a large number of genes so that biofilm cells are clearly phenotypically distinct from their planktonic counterparts. Each biofilm bacterium lives in a customized microniche in a complex microbial community that has primitive homeostasis, a primitive circulatory system, and metabolic cooperativity, and each of these sessile cells reacts to its special environment so that it differs fundamentally from a planktonic cell of the same species.
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            Call of the wild: antibiotic resistance genes in natural environments.

            Antibiotic-resistant pathogens are profoundly important to human health, but the environmental reservoirs of resistance determinants are poorly understood. The origins of antibiotic resistance in the environment is relevant to human health because of the increasing importance of zoonotic diseases as well as the need for predicting emerging resistant pathogens. This Review explores the presence and spread of antibiotic resistance in non-agricultural, non-clinical environments and demonstrates the need for more intensive investigation on this subject.
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              Warming of the World Ocean

               S Levitus (2000)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Microbiol
                IJMB
                International Journal of Microbiology
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                1687-918X
                1687-9198
                2011
                1 September 2010
                : 2011
                Affiliations
                Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, Chemical Microbiology, Inhoffenstrasse 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Jorge H. Leitao

                Article
                10.1155/2011/798292
                2946570
                20885968
                Copyright © 2011 Wolf-Rainer Abraham.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Review Article

                Microbiology & Virology

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