Self-Purificatory Ganga Water Facilitates Death of Pathogenic Escherichia coli O157:H7
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Concern over the prevalence of active pharmaceutical agents and subsequent occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in the environment is increasing. Incorruptible ability of Ganga water was evaluated using fresh, 8-year-old, and 16-year-old Ganga water samples spiked with pathogenic Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7. Survival of E. coli O157:H7 over the course of the experiment was 3, 7, and 15 days for fresh, 8-year-old, and 16-year-old Ganga waters, respectively. On the contrary, in Milli Q water the decline in viable count of E. coli O157:H7 up to 30 days was only 2 log units. Survival of E. coli O157:H7 was greater in boiled water compared with water after passage through a 0.2-μm-pore-size membrane filter, indicating involvement of heat-labile agents influencing survival of E. coli O157:H7 in Ganga water, which seems to indicate the role of antimicrobial peptides. Functional diversity of Ganga water’s native microbial community structure as assessed with Biolog Eco plates was not affected even in the presence of a 5-fold log units higher pathogenic load of E. coli O157:H7. These findings suggest that Ganga water has certain novel antimicrobial attributes, besides its remarkable fluidity, which may provide a much-needed basis for the development of new antimicrobial compounds.
The author is deeply indebted to R.K. Trivedi, former Governor of the State of Gujarat, India, for providing the 16-year-old Ganga water sample; V. Sharma, King George Medical University, Lucknow, for providing the strain of E. coli O157:H7; and B. Staddon, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, USA for, his generous help in the Diversity/Evenness Index analysis. Thanks are due to the Director, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, for the necessary support. This work was supported by the New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) program and Task Force Grant NWP-0019 from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
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