Adrian Auckenthaler

Bundesamt für Gesundheit, Schweiz, Berna, Bern, Switzerland

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Publications (3)8.98 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Agricultural practices, such as spreading liquid manure or the utilisation of land as animal pastures, can result in faecal contamination of water resources. Rhodococcus coprophilus is used in microbial source tracking to indicate animal faecal contamination in water. Methods previously described for detecting of R. coprophilus in water were neither sensitive nor specific. Therefore, the aim of this study was to design and validate a new quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to improve the detection of R. coprophilus in water. The new PCR assay was based on the R. coprophilus 16S rRNA gene. The validation showed that the new approach was specific and sensitive for deoxyribunucleic acid from target host species. Compared with other PCR assays tested in this study, the detection limit of the new qPCR was between 1 and 3 log lower. The method, including a filtration step, was further validated and successfully used in a field investigation in Switzerland. Our work demonstrated that the new detection method is sensitive and robust to detect R. coprophilus in surface and spring water. Compared with PCR assays that are available in the literature or to the culture-dependent method, the new molecular approach improves the detection of R. coprophilus.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 03/2012; 93(5):2161-9. · 3.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The localization of fecal input sites is important for water quality management. For this purpose, we have developed a new approach based on a three-step procedure, including a preparatory phase, the screening of multiresistant bacteria using selective agar plates, and a typing phase where selected Escherichia coli isolates are characterized by antibiotic resistance profiles and molecular fingerprinting techniques (pulsed-field gel electrophoresis [PFGE]). These two well-known source tracking methods were combined in order to reduce cost and effort. This approach was successfully applied under field conditions in a study area located in the north-western part of Switzerland. E. coli isolates from spring water and surface water samples collected in this area were screened with selective agar plates. In this way, 21 different groups, each consisting of strains with the same pattern of antibiotic resistance, were found. Of these, four groups were further analyzed using PFGE. Strains with identical PFGE profiles were detected repeatedly, demonstrating the suitability of this method for the localization of fecal input sites over an extended period of time. Identical PFGE patterns of strains detected in water from two different springs were also found in the stream flowing through the study area. These results demonstrated the applicability of the new approach for the examination of incidents of fecal contamination in drinking water. The advantages of the described approach over genotyping methods currently being used to identify sources of fecal contaminants are a reduction in time, costs, and the effort required. Identical isolates could be identified without the construction of large libraries.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 09/2011; 77(23):8427-33. · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacteriophages active against specific Bacteroides host strains were shown to be suitable for detection of human faecal pollution. However, the practical application of this finding is limited because some specific host strains were restricted to certain geographic regions. In this study, novel Bacteroides host strains were isolated that discriminate human and animal faecal pollution in Switzerland. Two strains specific for bacteriophages present in human faecal contamination and three strains specific for bacteriophages indicating animal faecal contamination were evaluated. Bacteriophages infecting human strains were exclusively found in human wastewater, whereas animal strains detected bacteriophages only in animal waste. The newly isolated host strains could be used to determine the source of surface and spring water faecal contamination in field situations. Applying the newly isolated host Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron ARABA 84 for detection of bacteriophages allowed the detection of human faecal contamination in spring water.
    Journal of Water and Health 03/2011; 9(1):159-68. · 1.22 Impact Factor