Breaking News
May 20, 2018 - Developmental psychotherapy aims at helping antisocial adolescents become responsible adults
May 20, 2018 - People with OCD process emotions differently than their unaffected siblings
May 20, 2018 - Interfering with enzyme’s movement may be new approach for developing of anti-cancer drugs
May 20, 2018 - Prestroke and poststroke oral anticoagulation therapy in AF patients
May 20, 2018 - Why drug users prefer heroin at home, but cocaine while out
May 20, 2018 - Gene therapy that reverses blindness in dogs could also help treat humans
May 20, 2018 - Opioid-Related Payments Linked to Increase in Opioid Rx
May 20, 2018 - Phone apps push people to take their pills
May 20, 2018 - Backbreaking Work May Shorten Men’s Lives
May 20, 2018 - Harsher drug laws won’t stop violence, argues former police chief
May 20, 2018 - Cognitive decline in dementia is not reduced by exercise
May 20, 2018 - Detecting breast cancer with non-invasive ‘disease screening pill’
May 20, 2018 - Simple treatment may minimize hearing loss triggered by loud noises
May 20, 2018 - Alignment of mother and offspring body clock could prevent diseases such as heart disease and obesity
May 20, 2018 - New commercial data warehouse for life sciences
May 20, 2018 - Practice Intervention Targeting IV Opioids May Cut Exposure
May 20, 2018 - New study provides insight into blood signatures of inflammation
May 20, 2018 - Scientists make breakthrough discovery about vitamin B12
May 20, 2018 - What Causes Cancer? Misconceptions Abound
May 20, 2018 - Proper burial of dead cells limits inflammation
May 20, 2018 - Study offers novel solution to suppress metastatic spread of deadly breast cancer
May 20, 2018 - Perspectives of patients and caregivers on care transitions
May 20, 2018 - Guidelines for weight gain in pregnancy should be changed for underweight and very obese women
May 20, 2018 - Researchers transplant retinal sheets derived from human embryonic stem cells in retinal degeneration mouse models
May 20, 2018 - U.S. military personnel at greater risk for skin cancer than general population
May 20, 2018 - Your immune system holds the line against repeat invaders, thanks to this molecule
May 20, 2018 - Between death and deportation
May 20, 2018 - Developing a High Throughput Mass Spectrometry Platform for Drug Discovery
May 19, 2018 - New project aims to increase awareness among hospital clinicians of non-beneficial treatment at end-of-life
May 19, 2018 - Automated bone scan index offers accurate, speedy prognostic information about prostate cancer
May 19, 2018 - Rutgers Cancer Institute nurses research various topics to enhance patient experience
May 19, 2018 - Computer models provide valuable insight to structure and function of Ebola, Zika viruses
May 19, 2018 - Study exposes key tactic used by deadly fungus
May 19, 2018 - Bacterial signals are crucial to development of pre-leukemic myeloproliferation, study shows
May 19, 2018 - Global experts identify key issues in supporting children with brain injuries transition back to school
May 19, 2018 - Social connections may protect black men who have sex with men from acquiring HIV
May 19, 2018 - Study IDs Factors Linked to Quality of Life With Dementia
May 19, 2018 - Potassium — Consumer
May 19, 2018 - HIV-1 viruses transmitted at birth are resistant to antibodies in mother’s blood
May 19, 2018 - Some water pitchers are much better at removing toxins, shows research
May 19, 2018 - Scientists discover how unusually long strands of RNA help colon cancer cells avoid death
May 19, 2018 - International study finds viable treatment option for people with mild asthma
May 19, 2018 - Mayo discovery could enable development of personalized ovarian, brain cancer treatments
May 19, 2018 - ‘Superbug’ Surfaces at Poultry Farm in China
May 19, 2018 - UCLA-designed program helps former HIV-positive inmates maintain health after release from jail
May 19, 2018 - New blood test could help avoid more than 40% of prostate biopsies, study finds
May 19, 2018 - Macrophages play key role in maintaining stem cell niche of mammary gland
May 19, 2018 - Ferritin Blood Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
May 19, 2018 - Prolonged exposure to air pollution leads to genetic changes in rat brains, study finds
May 19, 2018 - Scientists identify new potential target to combat acute myeloid leukemia
May 19, 2018 - Ovarian cancer therapy may help treat patients with aggressive pancreatic cancer
May 19, 2018 - MediciNova Announces Opening of Investigational New Drug Application for MN-166 (ibudilast) in Glioblastoma
May 19, 2018 - Research shows that sexual activity and emotional closeness are unrelated to the rate of cognitive decline
May 19, 2018 - Nuffield Council on Bioethics outlines ethical issues arising from use of AI in healthcare
May 19, 2018 - Pancreatic cancer patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations fare better on platinum-based chemotherapy
May 19, 2018 - Tradeshow Talks with nal von minden Ltd
May 19, 2018 - Chemist begins new project to develop carbohydrate mimics to assist cancer therapies
May 19, 2018 - Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Older Adults
May 19, 2018 - Epstein-Barr virus linked to seven serious diseases
May 19, 2018 - Biochemists isolate protein supercomplex from bacteria that generates voltage
May 19, 2018 - Mindfulness-based Stress Management Course for cancer survivors
May 19, 2018 - Simple screening tool can help identify people at increased risk for dementia
May 19, 2018 - Many gay and bisexual teenage boys use adult hookup apps to connect with friends, partners
May 19, 2018 - Maternal Exposure to Polluted Air Tied to Elevated Child BP
May 19, 2018 - Experimental drug extends survival in progeria
May 19, 2018 - FutureNeuro and GreenLight Medicines team up to develop cannabis-based treatments for epilepsies
May 19, 2018 - Brazilians with less education more likely to perceive as being in poor health
May 19, 2018 - Experts available to discuss subjects related to Ebola virus
May 19, 2018 - Opioid Makers’ Perks to Docs Tied to More Prescriptions
May 19, 2018 - AI detects patterns of gut microbes for cholera risk
May 19, 2018 - Researcher develops small molecules that inhibit derailment of gene expression in cancer
May 19, 2018 - Study brings fresh insights into biology of malaria parasite
May 19, 2018 - Microglia may play key role in slowing progression of prion diseases, research suggests
May 19, 2018 - Safety program successfully reduces SSIs in patients undergoing colorectal operations
May 19, 2018 - Clinical study supports usual medical care plus chiropractic care for low back pain
May 19, 2018 - Vermont legislators pass a drug importation law. So what?
May 19, 2018 - Trump proposes cutting planned parenthood funds. What does that mean?
May 19, 2018 - Cognitive training intervention reduces gait freezing in Parkinson’s patients, study shows
May 19, 2018 - Clinical trial begins enrollment to test safety of experimental MERS treatments
May 19, 2018 - Scientists disrupt two enzymes to shrink cancer cells
Human waste remains main source of fecal pollution in the river Danube

Human waste remains main source of fecal pollution in the river Danube

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences, Technische Universität Wien and the Medical University of Vienna present the findings of the largest water hygiene study of its kind.

Despite wastewater management and treatment plants, human waste remains the main source of microbial fecal pollution in the river Danube. This is the most notable finding of a comprehensive analysis of fecal pollution in the Danube. The study used a new molecular genetics method that enables the clear differentiation of human microbial fecal pollution from that of animal origin. The currently published study was carried out with the major participation of the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences under the auspices of the Interuniversity Cooperation Centre for Water & Health in Austria.

CSI and forensics can be used to uncover not only serial killers but also the cause of water pollution – when it comes to fecal contamination at least. A research team led by Professor Andreas Farnleitner from the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences (KL) and the Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien) has succeeded in demonstrating this for the river Danube. A refined molecular genetics method, which enables the differentiation of human and animal fecal matter based on bacterial DNA and was developed jointly by Professor Farnleiter and his colleagues from the Interuniversity Cooperation Centre for Water & Health (ICC Water & Health), played a crucial role in the study. This would not have been possible using the standard methods available up to now and is a particularly important factor when it comes to identifying the source of acute water pollution.

HUMAN OR ANIMAL ORIGIN

“Rivers are often used for drinking-water extraction,” explains Professor Farnleitner, who is head of the Water Quality and Health Division at KL. “So fecal contamination poses a potential health risk. The standard detection methods are based on the cultivation of fecal indicator bacteria and do not provide any information about whether the fecal matter is human or animal in origin. As opposed to this, the genetic method we used in the Danube study provides information on this very point.”

The method is based on the genetic markers of specific bacterial species (Bacteriodetes) found in human and animal excreta. Based on their typical DNA sequences, these markers enable conclusions to be drawn about whether fecal contamination originates from humans, ruminants or pigs, for example. The concentration of host-associated Bacteriodetes genetic fecal markers in the Danube is low, thus Professor Farnleiter’s team amplified it using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method so that they could then identify the source and categorise it as originating from humans, ruminants or pigs.

“The result was unequivocal: the microbial fecal pollution found along a 2,580-kilometer stretch of the river Danube was predominantly human in origin. The contribution of grazing livestock and intensive pig farming along the river to the pollution was comparatively marginal in all locations,” explains Professor Alexander Kirschner from the Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology at the Medical University of Vienna, who coordinated the study jointly with Professor Farnleitner. “This is significant because contamination from human sources is potentially more dangerous than that originating from animals. In general, the species of pathogens contained in human excreta pose a higher risk of infection to humans than those found in animal waste. However – and it is important to stress this – thanks to the numerous water protection measures carried out in the Danube, it is extremely clean for a river of its size.”

INTERNATIONAL STUDY

The research team succeeded in demonstrating the practical application of the new method to a major international river and catchment area. The study, which began in 2013, was mainly carried out by scientists from the Danube region in the context of the Joint Danube Survey 2013 and coordinated by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR). In addition to the aforementioned ICC Water & Health, experts from the Medical University of Vienna and the TU Wien were involved on behalf of Austria from the outset. Samples were taken at over 70 locations on the Danube – from both the central reaches of the river and close to the banks. The microbiological water quality was also monitored for a period of one year at three selected extraction points. All samples were analyzed using both the standard methods based on indicator bacteria and molecular biology methods for the detection of genetic markers. The further analysis of the 4,000-plus samples was carried out with the team from KL, which also made a major contribution to the evaluation and interpretation of the data in the context of the ICC Water & Health.

Thanks to the large volumes of data recorded on the spatial and temporal distribution of microbial fecal pollution in the Danube and the identification of their sources, the studies carried out as part of the JDS 2013 project are the most extensive of their kind.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles