Survival of Helicobacter pylori in the wastewater treatment process and the receiving river in Michigan, USA

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Contaminated water may play a key role in the transmission of Helicobacter pylori, resulting in gastrointestinal diseases in humans. The wastewater treatment process is an important barrier to control the transmission of H. pylori. However, the presence and viability of H. pylori in the treatment process is not well known. In this paper, the real colony morphology of H. pylori was confirmed by two types of culture media. The survival of H. pylori through the tertiary wastewater treatment process, especially UV disinfection, and in the receiving Huron River in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was investigated by plates cultivation, regular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays and quantitative real-time PCR from DNA. The results demonstrated that H. pylori was not only present, but also viable in all processed wastewater samples in the Ann Arbor wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). H. pylori can be found in a higher concentration in the receiving Huron River. There are many kinds of antibiotic- and UV-resistant bacteria, including H. pylori, in the final effluent of Ann Arbor WWTP.

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