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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

Print version ISSN 1517-8382


HACHICH, Elayse M. et al. Comparison of thermotolerant coliforms and Escherichia coli densities in freshwater bodies. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2012, vol.43, n.2, pp.675-681. ISSN 1517-8382.

Fecal bacterial indicator analyses have been widely used for monitoring the water quality. This study was designed to determine the ratio between the density of Escherichia coli and other Thermotolerant Coliforms (TtC) bacteria from freshwater samples collected for a two-year period of monitoring. TtC were enumerated by membrane filtration on mFC agar. E. coli enumeration was done by two methods: TtC colonies identified in mFC were inoculated in EC-MUG or water samples were filtered and inoculated in modified mTEC agar media, and both methods were compared for quantitative recovery of E. coli. The results pointed out a mean percentage of E. coli among other thermotolerant coliforms (E. coli/TtC ratio) of 84.3% in mFC media. Taking these results into account, a mandatory standard of 1000 thermotolerant coliforms would correspond to 800 E. coli and the adoption of these E. coli based standards will represent a major improvement for the monitoring of freshwater quality.

Keywords : Thermotolerant Coliforms (TtC); E. coli; Water quality; microbiological standards.

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