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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Bacterial pathogen incidences in sludge from Swedish sewage treatment plants

Sahlstrom L, Aspan A, Bagge E, Danielsson-Tham ML, Albihn A


This study surveyed the presence of bacterial pathogens in eight Swedish sewage treatment plants (STPs), with four different treatment methods, focusing on detection of zoonotic bacteria in raw and treated sludge. Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter coli and jejuni, Escherichia coli O157 and indicator bacteria were investigated. Samplings were performed from July 2000 to June 2002, resulting in 64 raw sludge samples and 69 treated sludge samples. The samples from raw sludge (67%) and treated sludge (55%) were positive for Salmonella; 49 different serotypes were detected. Restriction enzyme analysis and pulsed field gel electrophoresis of Salmonella serotypes indicated that Salmonella persists in STPs and that there is a continuous supply of new strains. There are differences in treatment methods concerning the reduction of pathogens and indicator bacteria. If spread on arable land, sludge increases the environmental load of pathogens; this increases the risk for spreading diseases to people and animals. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

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Water Research
2004, Volume: 38, number: 8, pages: 1989-1994

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          Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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