Breaking News
October 24, 2018 - Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Receives FDA Approval of Khapzory (levoleucovorin) for Injection
October 24, 2018 - Researcher uses smartphone to detect breast cancer gene
October 24, 2018 - Advanced breast cancer patients can benefit from immunotherapy-chemotherapy combination
October 24, 2018 - Stress related to social stigma negatively impacts mental health of autistic people
October 24, 2018 - New 17-item questionnaire may help detect GI disorders in children with autism
October 24, 2018 - 12% of frequent marijuana smokers experience cannabis withdrawal syndrome
October 24, 2018 - Immune therapy may be potential treatment option for patients with hard-to-treat ankylosing spondylitis
October 24, 2018 - Poor Experience With PCP Linked to Hospitalization in CKD
October 23, 2018 - Dummies not to blame for common speech disorder in kids
October 23, 2018 - The future of ethics and biomedicine: An interview
October 23, 2018 - X4 Pharmaceuticals announces clinical data of X4P-001-IO and Opdivo in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma
October 23, 2018 - FDA targets 465 websites that sell potentially dangerous, unapproved drugs
October 23, 2018 - New approach may lead to better diagnostic techniques for autoimmune disorders
October 23, 2018 - Innovative computer software sheds new light on genetic processes underlying deadly diseases
October 23, 2018 - Juul Drawing Lots of Teen Followers on Twitter
October 23, 2018 - WHO says Zika risk low in Pacific ahead of Meghan visit
October 23, 2018 - A deeper look at ‘Reflecting Frankenstein’
October 23, 2018 - Breastfeeding can have protective affect against high blood pressure in women, confirms study
October 23, 2018 - Epigenetic modifications may contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease
October 23, 2018 - Volunteering for peer counseling programs benefits people with lupus
October 23, 2018 - Cancer treatment may undergo a paradigm shift to immunotherapy soon
October 23, 2018 - Study uncovers new mechanism of action in a first-line drug for diabetes
October 23, 2018 - New type of molecule shows early promise against treatment-resistant prostate cancer
October 23, 2018 - Lancet publishes pioneering study of Aimovig’s efficacy in episodic migraine patients
October 23, 2018 - Scientists grow functioning human neural networks in 3D from stem cells
October 23, 2018 - Using mushrooms as a prebiotic may help improve glucose regulation
October 23, 2018 - New ENT clinic treats children in Zimbabwe
October 23, 2018 - CUIMC Celebrates 2018-2019, Issue 2
October 23, 2018 - Immunotherapy is better than chemotherapy as first-line treatment for advanced head and neck cancer
October 23, 2018 - Intake of painkillers during pregnancy linked to early puberty in future offspring
October 23, 2018 - ConnectToBrain project seeks to improve techniques for brain stimulation in current clinical use
October 23, 2018 - Polyganics begins first-in-human clinical trial of LIQOSEAL for reducing CSF leakage
October 23, 2018 - Gut bacterial community of healthy adults recovers after short-term exposure to broad-spectrum antibiotics
October 23, 2018 - Lowering systolic blood pressure does not damage the kidneys, shows study
October 23, 2018 - Incyte Announces Positive Data from Phase 2b Trial of Ruxolitinib Cream in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis
October 23, 2018 - Cardiovascular admissions more common among most deprived
October 23, 2018 - Targeted drug and hormone therapy combination extends breast cancer survival
October 23, 2018 - Map of human liver cells reveals molecular make-up of individual cells
October 23, 2018 - Drugs approved for breast cancer treatment are effective and well tolerated in men
October 23, 2018 - EKF introduces new hand-held lactate analyzer for rapid sports performance monitoring
October 23, 2018 - Researchers identify common genetic connection in lung conditions
October 23, 2018 - Forbius initiates Phase 2a trial evaluating efficacy, safety of AVID100 in patients with squamous NSCLC
October 23, 2018 - Immunotherapy achieves major pathological response in early-stage mismatch repair deficient colon cancer
October 23, 2018 - New discovery may lead to better treatment options for pancreatic cancer patients
October 23, 2018 - FDA Approves Dupixent (dupilumab) for Moderate-to-Severe Asthma
October 23, 2018 - Researchers identify immune culprits linked to inflammation and bone loss in gum disease
October 23, 2018 - Despite lower risk factors, black men have higher rates of recidivism
October 23, 2018 - Study finds why pregnant women in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan prefer cesarean delivery
October 23, 2018 - AbbVie’s U-ACHIEVE Phase 2b/3 dose-ranging study improves outcomes in patients with ulcerative colitis
October 23, 2018 - NCI grant awarded to Abramson Cancer Center to study CAR T cells In solid tumors
October 23, 2018 - Scientists use electron microscope to study chemical transformation in catalytic cross-coupling reaction
October 23, 2018 - Research offers new hope to men who received childhood cancer treatment
October 23, 2018 - New medical navigation system receives international innovation award
October 23, 2018 - Adverse Childhood Experiences Tied to Burnout in BSN Students
October 23, 2018 - High levels of oral disease among elite athletes affecting performance
October 23, 2018 - Study examines effect of immediate vs delayed pushing during labor on delivery outcomes
October 23, 2018 - LU-RRTC to spearhead capacity-building efforts for racial and ethnic populations
October 23, 2018 - Maintenance therapy with olaparib improves progression-free survival in advanced ovarian cancer patients
October 23, 2018 - Organic food may protect against cancers finds study
October 23, 2018 - Interweaving anxiety disorder associated with stuttering remains unrecognized
October 23, 2018 - Cannabis oil shown to significantly improve Crohn’s disease symptoms
October 23, 2018 - Knowledge of sex differences in lower urinary tract may help stimulate breakthroughs in diagnosis, management
October 23, 2018 - Common antibodies associated with myocardial infarction
October 23, 2018 - Study reveals new treatment option for women with advanced breast cancer resistant to hormone therapy
October 23, 2018 - Brain’s ‘Self-Control’ Center May Be Key to Weight-Loss Success
October 23, 2018 - Prosthetic valve mismatches common in transcatheter valve replacement, ups risk of death
October 23, 2018 - Can virtual reality help people become more compassionate?
October 23, 2018 - Screen time eclipsed outdoor time for most students, shows study
October 23, 2018 - SLU researcher seeks to find solutions for ‘chemo brain’ symptoms and side effects of opioids
October 23, 2018 - Plastics now commonly found in human stools
October 23, 2018 - Zoledronic acid increases disease-free survival in premenopausal women with HR+ early breast cancer
October 23, 2018 - Cancer survivors at risk for heart failure during, after pregnancy
October 23, 2018 - Stanford project brings health education videos to mothers in South Africa
October 23, 2018 - HIV-infected Hispanics at higher risk of developing HPV-related cancers, finds study
October 23, 2018 - Politicians hop aboard ‘Medicare-for-all’ train, destination unknown
October 23, 2018 - Study suggests rising childhood obesity rates as cause for serious hip disease in adolescents
October 23, 2018 - Study highlights existence of barriers to early clinical trial access for adolescents and young adults
October 23, 2018 - Protein sequencing technique could revolutionize biomedical research
October 23, 2018 - Canon Medical to showcase world’s first Ultra-High Resolution CT system at ASTRO 2018
October 23, 2018 - Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Announces Release of Updated Poziotinib Data From MD Anderson Phase 2 Study in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients
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