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POTENTIAL FOR GULLS TO TRANSPORT BACTERIA FROM HUMAN WASTE SITES
Daniels, Q., H. Ryu, M. Elk, AND E. Alm. POTENTIAL FOR GULLS TO TRANSPORT BACTERIA FROM HUMAN WASTE SITES. Presented at ASM Annual Meeting, Session 141, Poster 1861, Boston, MA, May 17 - 20, 2014.
This study was designed as a first step in assessing whether gulls visiting human waste sites can acquire human microorganisms and distribute them across the coastal landscape. Beaches, landfills, and a lagoon of treated wastewater located in a coastal Lake Michigan county were targeted with TaqMan qPCR using primers for fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) including Bacteroidetes, enterococci, and Escherichia coli, gull feces, and a marker associated with human feces (HF183). Radio telemetry of 31 tagged gulls was conducted and data analyzed using GIS technology to determine if gulls were traveling between human waste sites and beaches. All of the sites showed a high prevalence of FIB and gull feces. Nearly all samples were positive for Bacteroidetes and E. coli. HF183 was detected at all sites, and in more than 50% of landfill run-off water and beach water samples. The distribution of gull signals at sites was greatest at beach sites, followed by the wastewater lagoon, and lowest at landfills. Samples of collected gull feces or cloacae material were greater than 90% positive for gull marker, and greater than 80% positive for enterococci and E. coli. Interestingly, 23% of gull feces/cloacae samples were positive for HF183. HF183 was also detected in cloacae samples from 2 of 5 gulls documented moving between human waste sites and beaches. Thus, in addition to their own microbiota, gulls may contribute human fecal bacteria acquired from waste sites to beaches.
To study the occurrence of human-specific markers in gull feces in beaches nearby landfills.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/POSTER)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY
WATER SUPPLY AND WATER RESOURCES DIVISION
MICROBIAL CONTAMINANTS CONTROL BRANCH