Predicting Salmonella populations from biological, chemical, and physical indicators in Florida surface waters

Rachel McEgan, Gabriel Mootian, Lawrence D. Goodridge, Donald W. Schaffner, Michelle D. Danyluk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Coliforms, Escherichia coli, and various physicochemical water characteristics have been suggested as indicators of microbial water quality or index organisms for pathogen populations. The relationship between the presence and/or concentration of Salmonella and biological, physical, or chemical indicators in Central Florida surface water samples over 12 consecutive months was explored. Samples were taken monthly for 12 months from 18 locations throughout Central Florida (n=202). Air and water temperature, pH, oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), turbidity, and conductivity were measured. Weather data were obtained from nearby weather stations. Aerobic plate counts and most probable numbers (MPN) for Salmonella, E. coli, and coliforms were performed. Weak linear relationships existed between biological indicators (E. coli/coliforms) and Salmonella levels (R2<0.1) and between physicochemical indicators and Salmonella levels (R2<0.1). The average rainfall (previous day, week, and month) before sampling did not correlate well with bacterial levels.Logistic regression analysis showed that E. coli concentration can predict the probability of enumerating selected Salmonella levels. The lack of good correlations between biological indicators and Salmonella levels and between physicochemical indicators and Salmonella levels shows that the relationship between pathogens and indicators is complex. However, Escherichia coli provides a reasonable way to predict Salmonella levels in Central Florida surface water through logistic regression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4094-4105
Number of pages12
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Volume79
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology

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