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Población y Salud en Mesoamérica

versão On-line ISSN 1659-0201


CHACON-JIMENEZ, Luz et al. Circulation of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli associated virulence genes in Costa Rican Great Metropolitan Area wastewaters. PSM [online]. 2022, vol.19, n.2, pp.330-354. ISSN 1659-0201.

Introduction. Diarrheic disease is one of the most important diseases causes in children under five years. One of the most recognized etiological agents is Escherichia coli. This bacterium has the capacity of causing infections by multiple mechanisms associated with the acquisition of different virulence genes. Methodology: water samples were collected from the affluents and effluents of five wastewater treatment plants located in the Costa Rican Great Metropolitan Area, during three sequential days, in March, May, October, and December from 2013. The aim was to quantify E. colis concentration by multiple tubes fermentation method and to evaluate the presence of aatA, bfpA, eaeA, ipaH, lt, st, stx1, and stx2 virulence genes, related with diarrheagenic E. coli, by PCR end-point method. Results: The study revealed that the levels of E. coli into the affluents are similar to those reported in other world regions. The effluents concentration presented higher than 4 Log10 NMP/100 mL level of E. coli. A year-round circulation of virulence genes was demonstrated, and it was associated with enterotoxigenic, Shiga-toxin producers/ enterohemorrhagic, enteroaggregative, and enteropathogenic pathotypes. Genes related to enteroinvasive variety did not were detected. Not all wastewater treatment plants removed E. coli efficiently. Conclusions: Diarrheagenic E. coli circulation is common in our county with the possibility of dissemination to the environment by effluents wastewater discharge in surface water bodies.

Palavras-chave : bacteria; wastewater; bacterial diseases; sewage treatment.

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