Enterococcus spp in wastewater and in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) exposed to wastewater wetland

Stina-Mina Ehn Börjesson, Inger Kühn, Jorge Hernandez, Björn Olsen, Ann-Sofi Rehnstam-Holm

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In this study, twelve Mallards living in an artificial wastewater wetland were exposed to treated wastewater containing 1 x 103- 4 x 103 enterococci 100 ml-1 for a period of 55 days. Faecal samples were collected before, during and after exposure and analysed for Enterococcus spp. The isolates were phenotyped using the PhenePlateTM system. 270 Enterococcus spp. of Mallard origin were analysed, together with 116 Enterococcus spp. isolates from treated wastewater and from incoming raw wastewater. In general, the Mallard and wastewater enterococci isolates belonged to different phenotypes, although several sharing identical phenotypic profiles were found. One E. faecalis phenotype was found in Mallards before, during and after exposure to treated wastewater, as well as in raw and treated wastewater. Our results indicate that there is a common source of enterococci for Mallards and humans. We propose an increased focus on emissions of human bacteria and on systems that mediate their transfer to wild animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Protection
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Biological Sciences (106)


  • Anas Platyrhynchos
  • Enterococcus Faecalis
  • Enterococcus Faecium
  • Mallard
  • Sewage
  • Urban Wastewater
  • Wastewater Wetland


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