OLIVERA nelda Lila
The occurrence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in bathing water of the Sierra de la Ventana region, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
PATRICIA L. MARUCCI; NELDA LILA OLIVERA; LORENA I. BRUGNONI; MARÍA G. SICA; MARIA AMELIA CUBITTO
ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT
Año: 2011 vol. 175 p. 1 - 1
The region of Sierra de la Ventana is located in the southwest of Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. Traditionally, this area has been devoted to livestock and agriculture, but tourism has had a significant development in recent years. In the region, there are many rivers and streams that are used for swimming and bathing. A survey of the occurrence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in these waters was conducted, and the microbiological quality of rivers and streams was investigated. No E. coli O157 was recovered by immunomagnetic separation. Nevertheless, the Shiga toxin gene, exclusively stx2 genotype, was detected in four non-O157 E. coli strains. Two STEC strains carried eae factor, but none of them harbored the EHEC-hlyA gene. Three of the STEC isolates belonged to samples obtained in the warm months, and one to the winter sampling. In the sample sites where STEC strains were isolated the counts of E. coli/100 ml exceeded or were close to the limit recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for bathing water. The relationship observed between the rainy season and E. coli counts suggests that among the main causes for the hygienic indicator increase is the runoff of manure deposited on soils that may also induce the entrance of pathogens into the aquatic environment. This research, the first reporting STEC isolation from recreational waters in this area, revealed that streams and rivers from a beefproducing area of Argentina are a reservoir of STEC strains.