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Hogan J.N.,University of California at Davis | Daniels M.E.,California State University, Monterey Bay | Watson F.G.,California State University, Monterey Bay | Conrad P.A.,University of California at Davis | And 8 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2012

Fecal pathogen contamination of watersheds worldwide is increasingly recognized, and natural wetlands may have an important role in mitigating fecal pathogen pollution flowing downstream. Given that waterborne protozoa, such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, are transported within surface waters, this study evaluated associations between fecal protozoa and various wetland-specific and environmental risk factors. This study focused on three distinct coastal California wetlands: (i) a tidally influenced slough bordered by urban and agricultural areas, (ii) a seasonal wetland adjacent to a dairy, and (iii) a constructed wetland that receives agricultural runoff. Wetland type, seasonality, rainfall, and various water quality parameters were evaluated using lon- gitudinal Poisson regression to model effects on concentrations of protozoa and indicator bacteria (Escherichia coli and total coliform). Among wetland types, the dairy wetland exhibited the highest protozoal and bacterial concentrations, and despite significant reductions in microbe concentrations, the wetland could still be seen to influence water quality in the downstream tidal wetland. Additionally, recent rainfall events were associated with higher protozoal and bacterial counts in wetland water samples across all wetland types. Notably, detection of E. coli concentrations greater than a 400 most probable number (MPN) per 100 ml was associated with higher Cryptosporidium oocyst and Giardia cyst concentrations. These findings show that natural wetlands draining agricultural and livestock operation runoff into human-utilized waterways should be considered potential sources of pathogens and that wetlands can be instrumental in reducing pathogen loads to downstream waters. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. Source

Hogan J.N.,University of California at Davis | Daniels M.E.,California State University, Monterey Bay | Watson F.G.,California State University, Monterey Bay | Oates S.C.,Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center | And 8 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2013

Constructed wetland systems are used to reduce pollutants and pathogens in wastewater effluent, but comparatively little is known about pathogen transport through natural wetland habitats. Fecal protozoans, including Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia, and Toxoplasma gondii, are waterborne pathogens of humans and animals, which are carried by surface waters from land-based sources into coastal waters. This study evaluated key factors of coastal wetlands for the reduction of protozoal parasites in surface waters using settling column and recirculating mesocosm tank experiments. Settling column experiments evaluated the effects of salinity, temperature, and water type (pure versus environmental) on the vertical settling velocities of C. parvum, G. lamblia, and T. gondii surrogates, with salinity and water type found to significantly affect settling of the parasites. The mesocosm tank experiments evaluated the effects of salinity, flow rate, and vegetation parameters on parasite and surrogate counts, with increased salinity and the presence of vegetation found to be significant factors for removal of parasites in a unidirectional transport wetland system. Overall, this study highlights the importance of water type, salinity, and vegetation parameters for pathogen transport within wetland systems, with implications for wetland management, restoration efforts, and coastal water quality. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology. Source

Daniels M.E.,California State University, Monterey Bay | Daniels M.E.,University of California at Davis | Hogan J.,University of California at Davis | Smith W.A.,University of California at Davis | And 8 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia, and Toxoplasma gondii are waterborne protozoal pathogens distributed worldwide and empirical evidence suggests that wetlands reduce the concentrations of these pathogens under certain environmental conditions. The goal of this study was to evaluate how protozoal removal in surface water is affected by the water temperature, turbidity, salinity, and vegetation cover of wetlands in the Monterey Bay region of California. To examine how protozoal removal was affected by these environmental factors, we conducted observational experiments at three primary spatial scales: settling columns, recirculating wetland mesocosm tanks, and an experimental research wetland (Molera Wetland). Simultaneously, we developed a protozoal transport model for surface water to simulate the settling columns, the mesocosm tanks, and the Molera Wetland. With a high degree of uncertainty expected in the model predictions and field observations, we developed the model within a Bayesian statistical framework. We found protozoal removal increased when water flowed through vegetation, and with higher levels of turbidity, salinity, and temperature. Protozoal removal in surface water was maximized (~0.1hour-1) when flowing through emergent vegetation at 2% cover, and with a vegetation contact time of ~30minutes compared to the effects of temperature, salinity, and turbidity. Our studies revealed that an increase in vegetated wetland area, with water moving through vegetation, would likely improve regional water quality through the reduction of fecal protozoal pathogen loads. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Schriewer A.,University of California at Davis | Miller W.A.,University of California at Davis | Byrne B.A.,University of California at Davis | Miller M.A.,Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center | And 9 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2010

The value of Bacteroidales genetic markers and fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) to predict the occurrence of waterborne pathogens was evaluated in ambient waters along the central California coast. Bacteroidales host-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) was used to quantify fecal bacteria in water and provide insights into contributing host fecal sources. Over 140 surface water samples from 10 major rivers and estuaries within the Monterey Bay region were tested over 14 months with four Bacteroidales-specific assays (universal, human, dog, and cow), three FIB (total coliforms, fecal coliforms, and enterococci), two protozoal pathogens (Cryptosporidium and Giardia spp.), and four bacterial pathogens (Campylobacter spp., Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp., and Vibrio spp.). Indicator and pathogen distribution was widespread, and detection was not highly seasonal. Vibrio cholerae was detected most frequently, followed by Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Salmonella, and Campylobacter spp. Bayesian conditional probability analysis was used to characterize the Bacteroidales performance assays, and the ratios of concentrations determined using host-specific and universal assays were used to show that fecal contamination from human sources was more common than livestock or dog sources in coastal study sites. Correlations were seen between some, but not all, indicator-pathogen combinations. The ability to predict pathogen occurrence in relation to indicator threshold cutoff levels was evaluated using a weighted measure that showed the universal Bacteroidales genetic marker to have a comparable or higher mean predictive potential than standard FIB. This predictive ability, in addition to the Bacteroidales assays providing information on contributing host fecal sources, supports using Bacteroidales assays in water quality monitoring programs. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. Source

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