2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

E. coli Levels in Local Streams
Teshome M. Assefa*, Chase A. Gray, and Kevin McGarrah
Dr. Cynthia Cooper, Faculty Mentor

Escherichia coli bacteria are essential to human health and commonly found in digestive tracts of warm-blooded animals. Consequently, E. coli are widely accepted as an indicator of fecal contamination. We examined how long environmental samples of E. coli survive in stream water and sediment held under laboratory conditions. The better adapted E. coli becomes to the environment, the less reliable it is as an indicator of fecal contamination. This study is a follow up on a previous experiment from the summer of 2008. Streams were simulated in lab using sediment and water from several sites around Kirksville. E. coli levels were monitored using MI agar in conformation with USEPA Method 1604. The most recent study was a modification of the original protocol; where E. coli levels were sampled every six hours instead of every twenty four hours. The results suggest an oscillation in the population, but further study is needed.

Keywords: Biology, Microbiology, Conservation Biology


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 8-5
Location: MG 2001
Time: 9:00

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