Detection of Shiga toxin-encoding genes in small community water supplies

Crespo-Medina, Melitza, Greaves, Isabel, Hunter, Paul R. ORCID:, Minnigh, Harvey and Ramírez-Toro, Graciela (2020) Detection of Shiga toxin-encoding genes in small community water supplies. Journal of Water and Health, 18 (6). pp. 937-945. ISSN 1477-8920

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Shiga toxin (Stx), one of the most potent bacterial toxins known, can cause bloody diarrhea, hemolytic uremic syndrome, kidney failure and death. The aim of this pilot was to investigate the occurrence of Shiga toxin-encoding genes, stx (stx1 and stx2) from total coliform (TC) and E. coli positive samples from small community water systems. After aliquots for TC and E. coli analyses were removed, the remnant volume of the samples was enriched, following a protocol developed for this study. Fifty-two per cent of the samples tested by multiplex PCR were positive for the presence of the stx genes; this percentage was higher in raw water samples. The stx2 gene was more abundant. Testing larger volumes of the samples increase the sensitivity of our assay, providing an alternative protocol for the detection of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) that might be missed by the TC assay. This study confirms the presence of Stx encoding genes in source and distributed water for all systems sampled and suggests STEC as a potential health risk in small systems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Public Health and Health Services Research
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Epidemiology and Public Health
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Water Security Research Centre
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2021 01:22
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 07:38
DOI: 10.2166/wh.2020.236

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