Contamination of semiarid potiguar reservoirs by harmful bacteria

Ermeton Duarte do Nascimento, Claudio Marcio de Medeiros Maia, Magnólia Fernandes Florêncio de Araújo


Water contamination in the semi-arid section of Northeast Brazil is a current concern for the country’s researchers, since this region is considered one of the poorest in Brazil and the water in these locations is a primary vehicle for disease transmission. We collected physical and chemical data as well as water samples from four semiarid potiguar reservoirs during the dry and rainy seasons of 2013 and 2014. These samples were prepared in a laboratory at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) and their physical, chemical and microbiological characteristics were evaluated. The procedures of microbial isolation and identification followed the Standard Methods for Examinations of Water and Wastewater. Then Vitek II system (Bio-Merieux®) was used to identify the microbial specimens and we calculated the frequency of specimens’ occurrence. Altogether, 168 bacteria were isolated and identified; 97% were Gram-negative and only 3% were Gram-positive. Within the Gram negatives, 73.2% were identified as belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family and, in general terms, the most constant genera in the water reservoirs were Vibrio and Aeromonas. Among the Enterobacteriaceae family, the species Escherichia coli, Enterobacter cloacae complex and Klebsiella pneumoniae were the most frequent. There was no statistical difference between the number or morphotype groups found in the periods, p=0.255 and p=0.237, respectively. The analyzed data indicate possible contamination of these water reservoirs by human and/or animal fecal material.


Brazilian semiarid, enterobacteria, hydric contamination.

Revista Ambiente & Água. ISSN:1980-993X DOI:10.4136/1980-993X

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