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Indicator microbes correlate with pathogenic bacteria, yeasts and helminthes in sand at a subtropical recreational beach site
Shah, A.H.; Abdelzaher, A.M.; Phillips, M.; Hernandez, R.; Solo-Gabriele, H.M.; Kish, J.; Scorzetti, G.; Fell, J.W.; Diaz, M.R.; Scott, T.M.; Lukasik, J.; Harwood, V.J.; McQuaig, S.; Sinigalliano, C.D.; Gidley, M.L.; Wanless, D.; Ager, A.; Lui, J.; Stewart, J.R.; Plano, L.R.W.; Fleming, L.E. (2011). Indicator microbes correlate with pathogenic bacteria, yeasts and helminthes in sand at a subtropical recreational beach site. J. Appl. Microbiol. 110(6): 1571-1583.
In: Journal of Applied Microbiology. Blackwell Science: Oxford. ISSN 1364-5072, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    environmental/recreational water; indicators; sediment

Authors  Top 
  • Shah, A.H.
  • Abdelzaher, A.M.
  • Phillips, M.
  • Hernandez, R.
  • Solo-Gabriele, H.M.
  • Kish, J.
  • Scorzetti, G.
  • Fell, J.W.
  • Diaz, M.R.
  • Scott, T.M.
  • Lukasik, J.
  • Harwood, V.J.
  • McQuaig, S.
  • Sinigalliano, C.D.
  • Gidley, M.L.
  • Wanless, D.
  • Ager, A.
  • Lui, J.
  • Stewart, J.R.
  • Plano, L.R.W.
  • Fleming, L.E., more

    Aims: Research into the relationship between pathogens, faecal indicator microbes and environmental factors in beach sand has been limited, yet vital to the understanding of the microbial relationship between sand and the water column and to the improvement of criteria for better human health protection at beaches. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the presence and distribution of pathogens in various zones of beach sand (subtidal, intertidal and supratidal) and to assess their relationship with environmental parameters and indicator microbes at a non-point source subtropical marine beach.Methods and Results: In this exploratory study in subtropical Miami (Florida, USA), beach sand samples were collected and analysed over the course of 6 days for several pathogens, microbial source tracking markers and indicator microbes. An inverse correlation between moisture content and most indicator microbes was found. Significant associations were identified between some indicator microbes and pathogens (such as nematode larvae and yeasts in the genus Candida), which are from classes of microbes that are rarely evaluated in the context of recreational beach use.Conclusions: Results indicate that indicator microbes may predict the presence of some of the pathogens, in particular helminthes, yeasts and the bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus including methicillin-resistant forms. Indicator microbes may thus be useful for monitoring beach sand and water quality at non-point source beaches.

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