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      Enterococci used as complementary indicator of fecal contamination to assess water quality from public schools in the city of Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil Translated title: Enterococos como indicador complementar de contaminação fecal para avaliar a qualidade da água de escolas na cidade de Curitiba, Paraná, Brasil


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          Abstract The study evaluated the drinking water quality from 45 public schools in the city of Curitiba, Brazil. Water samples were harvested from two different points at each school: the first one, drinking fountain used by students (n=45) and the second, kitchen faucet (n=45), comprising 90 samples. The samples were submitted to analysis according to current legislation, such as: dosage of free chlorine; colony counts of heterotrophic bacteria; presence of total coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli. In addition, an enterococci analysis was also included as a complementary microbiological indicator of fecal contamination. The isolated strains of enterococci were identified and submitted to an antibiotic susceptibility test. In relation to the legal parameters, 35.5% (n=16) of the 45 schools evaluated did not meet the quality water standards set by the Brazilian legislation. Although none of the 90 samples exhibited the presence Escherichia coli, 6.6% (n=6) of the analyzed samples presented enterococci contamination. Regarding the antibiotic susceptibility test, the isolated strains demonstrated a similar behavior, became resistant to six antibiotics and had intermediate sensitivity to one (Streptomycin) of the nine antibiotics tested. The drinking water destined for human consumption in the public schools may pose health risks for students since the fecal contamination by enterococci was confirmed, and it could be observed that the water may be a source of genes from bacteria resistant to antimicrobials. This study reinforces the importance of monitoring complementary microbiological indicators to assure water quality, seeing that fecal contamination was detected only when alternative parameters were inserted, emphasizing the relevance of including microbiological indicators beyond what the legislation requires to evaluate the drinking water more effectively and to safeguard public health.

          Translated abstract

          Resumo O estudo avaliou a qualidade da água potável de 45 escolas públicas na cidade de Curitiba, Brasil. Amostras de água foram coletadas de dois pontos diferentes de cada escola: o bebedouro utilizado pelos alunos (n = 45) e a torneira da cozinha (n = 45), totalizando 90 amostras. As amostras foram submetidas à análise de parâmetros legais: dosagem de cloro livre, contagem de bactérias heterotróficas, presença de coliformes totais e Escherichia coli. Além disso, a análise de enterococos também foi incluída como um indicador microbiológico complementar de contaminação fecal. As cepas de enterococos isolados foram identificadas e submetidas ao teste de sensibilidade a antibióticos. Em relação aos parâmetros legais, 35,5% (n = 16) das 45 escolas avaliadas não atenderam aos padrões de qualidade da água da legislação brasileira. Embora nenhuma das 90 amostras exibisse a presença de Escherichia coli, observou-se que 6,6% (n = 6) das amostras analisadas apresentaram contaminação por enterococos. No teste de sensibilidade aos antibióticos, as cepas isoladas demonstraram um comportamento semelhante, apresentando resistência a seis antibióticos e sensibilidade intermediária a um (estreptomicina). A água potável destinada ao consumo humano nas escolas públicas pode representar um risco à saúde dos estudantes, uma vez que a contaminação fecal por enterococos foi confirmada e considerada uma fonte de genes com resistência a antimicrobianos que podem ser facilmente disseminados para outras pessoas. Este estudo reforça a importância do monitoramento de indicadores microbiológicos complementares para garantir a qualidade da água, uma vez que a contaminação fecal foi detectada apenas quando parâmetros alternativos foram inseridos, enfatizando sua relevância para avaliar a água de maneira mais eficaz e salvaguardar a saúde pública.

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          Most cited references26

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          Multiple-drug resistant enterococci: the nature of the problem and an agenda for the future.

          Enterococci, leading causes of nosocomial bacteremia, surgical wound infection, and urinary tract infection, are becoming resistant to many and sometimes all standard therapies. New rapid surveillance methods are highlighting the importance of examining enterococcal isolates at the species level. Most enterococcal infections are caused by Enterococcus faecalis, which are more likely to express traits related to overt virulence but--for the moment--also more likely to retain sensitivity to at least one effective antibiotic. The remaining infections are mostly caused by E. faecium, a species virtually devoid of known overt pathogenic traits but more likely to be resistant to even antibiotics of last resort. Effective control of multiple-drug resistant enterococci will require 1) better understanding of the interaction between enterococci, the hospital environment, and humans, 2) prudent antibiotic use, 3) better contact isolation in hospitals and other patient care environments, and 4) improved surveillance. Equally important is renewed vigor in the search for additional drugs, accompanied by the evolution of new therapeutic paradigms less vulnerable to the cycle of drug introduction and drug resistance.
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            Council Directive 98/83/EEC of 3rd November 1998 on the quality of water intended for human consumption

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              Taxonomy, ecology and antibiotic resistance of enterococci from food and the gastro-intestinal tract.

              Apart from genotypic identification methods, there is a need for reliable conventional phenotypic identification schemes for simple and rapid determination of enterococcal species in food or in the gastro-intestinal tract (GIT). Only a limited number of enterococcal species is of importance for the ecology of the GIT or the food microflora, including E. faecalis, E. faecium, E. durans/hirae, E. gallinarum and E. casseliflavus. After genus identification the differentiation within these species can include, e.g. mannitol and arabinose fermentation and growth at 50 degrees C. Widely used commercial identification systems may fail to precisely identify rare species. Ecological aspects should also be taken into account. In the human GIT E. faecium is the most common species whereas in most animal species E. faecalis is at least present in the same amount. Especially in foods of animal origin (cheese, pork meat, beef, poultry meat) also E. faecalis is very frequent. This is of special interest as glycopeptide resistance is most often found in human clinical E. faecium strains as well as in E. faecium from the environment or animal samples and less frequent in E. faecalis strains. EU experts propose as safety criteria for probiotics in feed additives the exclusion of resistances or the lack of transferability. This proposal can also be applied to enterococci in foods. Specific resistances must be excluded, but transferability or acquisition of resistance (e.g. vancomycin) cannot be excluded per se. However, technologically used strains should differ from clinical strains concerning their resistance patterns and transfer rates.

                Author and article information

                Brazilian Journal of Food Technology
                Braz. J. Food Technol.
                Instituto de Tecnologia de Alimentos - ITAL (Campinas, SP, Brazil )
                : 23
                : e2019155
                [03] Recife Pernambuco orgnameUniversidade Federal de Pernambuco orgdiv1Departamento de Nutrição orgdiv2Programa de Pós-graduação em Nutrição Brazil
                [02] Curitiba Paraná orgnameUniversidade Federal do Paraná orgdiv1Departamento de Patologia Básica orgdiv2Programa de Pós-graduação em Microbiologia Brazil
                [01] Curitiba Paraná orgnameUniversidade Federal do Paraná orgdiv1Departamento de Nutrição orgdiv2Programa de Pós-graduação em Alimentação e Nutrição Brazil
                [04] Curitiba Paraná orgnameUniversidade Federal do Paraná orgdiv1Departamento de Estatística Brazil
                S1981-67232020000100464 S1981-6723(20)02300000464

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

                : 20 March 2020
                : 23 May 2019
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 37, Pages: 0

                SciELO Brazil

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                Original Article

                Microbiologia da água,Legislação sanitária,Inspeção sanitária,Água potável,Qualidade da água,Quality control,Controle de qualidade,Water microbiology,Health legislation,Sanitary inspection,Water quality,Drinking water


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