International Microbiology, Vol 1, No 3 (1998)

Colimetry of marine waters off Fortaleza (Ceará State, Brazil) and detection of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli strains

Regine H.S.F. Vieira, Dália P. Rodrigues, Norma S.S. Evangelista, Grace N.D. Theophilo, Eliane M.F. Reis


Bacteriological analyses of seawater from three main beaches in Fortaleza, Brazil were performed during 1997. Thirty-six samples per beach were collected for a total of 108 samples. For Meireles Beach, 44% of the samples had MPN total coliforms values of at least 1100 or over 2400/100 ml, followed by Formosa and Diários beaches showing lower counts. For fecal coliforms the highest numbers were demonstrated for Formosa, followed by Meireles and Diários beaches in this descending order: 13.0%, 11.1% and 8.3%, respectively. Escherichia coli strains were identified in 76.8% of the 108 samples. Among 295 strains of E.coli, 21 belonged to serogroups O25, O26, O91, O112, O119, O158 and O164. Strains from serogroup O26 were tested using PCR, ELISA and Vero cells to detect Verotoxins VT1 and VT2 and all strains were negative. No LT and ST, as determined by ELISA and suckling mice assays, were detected among the 295 strains. All strains of E. coli were sensitive to ampicillin, cephalothin, gentamicin, tetracycline, sulfametox-trimethoprim, chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin. Although the E. coli strains were not toxigenic, their presence in high numbers could be of public health significance.

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