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Ohad S.,National Public Health Laboratory Tel Aviv | Vaizel-Ohayon D.,Mekorot | Rom M.,Mekorot | Guttman J.,Mekorot | And 6 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2015

Modern man-made environments, including urban, agricultural, and industrial environments, have complex ecological interactions among themselves and with the natural surroundings. Microbial source tracking (MST) offers advanced tools to resolve the host source of fecal contamination beyond indicator monitoring. This study was intended to assess karst spring susceptibilities to different fecal sources using MST quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays targeting human, bovine, and swine markers. It involved a dual-time monitoring frame: (i) monthly throughout the calendar year and (ii) daily during a rainfall event. Data integration was taken from both monthly and daily MST profile monitoring and improved identification of spring susceptibility to host fecal contamination; three springs located in close geographic proximity revealed different MST profiles. The Giach spring showed moderate fluctuations of MST marker quantities amid wet and dry samplings, while the Zuf spring had the highest rise of the GenBac3 marker during the wet event, which was mirrored in other markers as well. The revelation of human fecal contamination during the dry season not connected to incidents of raining leachates suggests a continuous and direct exposure to septic systems. Pigpens were identified in the watersheds of Zuf, Shefa, and Giach springs and on the border of the Gaaton spring watershed. Their impact was correlated with partial detection of the Pig-2-Bac marker in Gaaton spring, which was lower than detection levels in all three of the other springs. Ruminant and swine markers were detected intermittently, and their contamination potential during the wet samplings was exposed. These results emphasized the importance of sampling design to utilize the MST approach to delineate subtleties of fecal contamination in the environment. © 2015, American Society for Microbiology.

Ohad S.,National Public Health Laboratory Tel Aviv | Ben-Dor S.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Prilusky J.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Kravitz V.,National Public Health Laboratory Tel Aviv | And 4 more authors.
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2016

The emerging microbial source tracking (MST) methodologies aim to identify fecal contamination originating from domestic and wild animals, and from humans. Avian MST is especially challenging, primarily because the Aves class includes both domesticated and wild species with highly diverse habitats and dietary characteristics. The quest for specific fecal bacterial MST markers can be difficult with respect to attaining sufficient assay sensitivity and specificity. The present study utilizes high throughput sequencing (HTS) to screen bacterial 16S rRNA genes from fecal samples collected from both domestic and wild avian species. Operational taxonomic unit (OTU) analysis was then performed, from which sequences were retained for downstream quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) marker development. Identification of unique avian host DNA sequences, absent in non-avian hosts, was then carried out using a dedicated database of bacterial 16S rRNA gene taken from the Ribosomal Database Project. Six qPCR assays were developed targeting the 16S rRNA gene of Lactobacillus, Gallibacterium, Firmicutes, Fusobacteriaceae, and other bacteria. Two assays (Av4143 and Av163) identified most of the avian fecal samples and demonstrated sensitivity values of 91 and 70%, respectively. The Av43 assay only identified droppings from battery hens and poultry, whereas each of the other three assays (Av24, Av13, and Av216) identified waterfowl species with lower sensitivities values. The development of an MST assay-panel, which includes both domestic and wild avian species, expands the currently known MST analysis capabilities for decoding fecal contamination. © 2016 Ohad, Ben-Dor, Prilusky, Kravitz, Dassa, Chalifa-Caspi, Kashi and Rorman.

Ohad S.,National Public Health Laboratory Tel Aviv | Block C.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Kravitz V.,National Public Health Laboratory Tel Aviv | Farber A.,National Public Health Laboratory Tel Aviv | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Applied Microbiology | Year: 2014

Aim: Enterobacter cloacae complex bacteria are of both clinical and environmental importance. Phenotypic methods are unable to distinguish between some of the species in this complex, which often renders their identification incomplete. The goal of this study was to develop molecular assays to identify Enterobacter hormaechei and Ent. cloacae genetic cluster III which are relatively frequently encountered in clinical material. Methods and Results: The molecular assays developed in this study are qPCR technology based and served to identify both Ent. hormaechei and Ent. cloacae genetic cluster III. qPCR results were compared to hsp60 sequence analysis. Most clinical isolates were assigned to Ent. hormaechei subsp. steigerwaltii and Ent. cloacae genetic cluster III. The latter was proportionately more frequently isolated from bloodstream infections than from other material (P < 0·05). Conclusion: The qPCR assays detecting Ent. hormaechei and Ent. cloacae genetic cluster III demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity. Significance and Impact of the Study: The presented qPCR assays allow accurate and rapid identification of clinical isolates of the Ent. cloacae complex. The improved identifications obtained can specifically assist analysis of Ent. hormaechei and Ent. cloacae genetic cluster III in nosocomial outbreaks and can promote rapid environmental monitoring. An association was observed between Ent. cloacae cluster III and systemic infection that deserves further attention. © 2014 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

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