Microbial load from animal feces at a recreational beach

Mary E. Wright, Helena M Solo-Gabriele, Samir Elmir, Lora E. Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The goal of this study was to quantify the microbial load (enterococci) contributed by the different animals that frequent a beach site. The highest enterococci concentrations were observed in dog feces with average levels of 3.9 × 107 CFU/g; the next highest enterococci levels were observed in birds averaging 3.3 × 105 CFU/g. The lowest measured levels of enterococci were observed in material collected from shrimp fecal mounds (2.0 CFU/g). A comparison of the microbial loads showed that 1 dog fecal event was equivalent to 6940 bird fecal events or 3.2 × 108 shrimp fecal mounds. Comparing animal contributions to previously published numbers for human bather shedding indicates that one adult human swimmer contributes approximately the same microbial load as one bird fecal event. Given the abundance of animals observed on the beach, this study suggests that dogs are the largest contributing animal source of enterococci to the beach site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1649-1656
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume58
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 6 2009

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microbial load
Enterococcus
Beaches
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Birds
Animals
beach
animal
bird
animals
dogs
birds
shrimp
dog

Keywords

  • Animal feces
  • Bacteria indicators
  • Enterococci
  • Enumeration
  • Non-point pollution sources
  • Recreational water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography
  • Pollution

Cite this

Microbial load from animal feces at a recreational beach. / Wright, Mary E.; Solo-Gabriele, Helena M; Elmir, Samir; Fleming, Lora E.

In: Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 58, No. 11, 06.08.2009, p. 1649-1656.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wright, Mary E. ; Solo-Gabriele, Helena M ; Elmir, Samir ; Fleming, Lora E. / Microbial load from animal feces at a recreational beach. In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2009 ; Vol. 58, No. 11. pp. 1649-1656.
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