World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 29, Issue 11, pp 2115–2124 | Cite as

Prevalence of Escherichia coli in surface waters of Southeast Asian cities

  • Kenneth Widmer
  • Nguyen Thi Van Ha
  • Soydoa Vinitnantharat
  • Suthipong Sthiannopkao
  • Setiawan Wangsaatmaja
  • Maria Angela Novi Prasetiati
  • Nguyen Cong Thanh
  • Kasame Thepnoo
  • Arief Dhany Sutadian
  • Huynh Thi Thanh Thao
  • Deby Fapyane
  • Vibol San
  • Pierangeli Vital
  • Hor-Gil Hur
Original Paper


Surface water samples were collected from rivers which fed into large urban areas within Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Thailand and were processed to enumerate Escherichia coli. Selected isolates were further characterized using PCR to detect the presence of specific virulence genes. Analyzing the four countries together, the approximate mean cfu/100 ml for E. coli counts in the dry season were log 4.3, while counts in the wet season were log 2.8. Of the 564 E. coli isolates screened for the presence of pathogenic genes, 3.9 % possessed at least one virulence gene. The most common pathogenic types found were Shiga toxin-producing E. coli isolates. These results reinforce the importance of monitoring urban surface waters for fecal contamination, that E. coli in these water environments may serve as opportunistic pathogens, and may help in determining the impact water usage from these rivers have on the public health of urban populations in Southeast Asia.


Escherichia coli Pathogens Surface water Urban water quality Southeast Asia PCR 



This work was supported by the UNU&GIST Joint Programme on Science and Technology for Sustainability, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Korea and part of a project funded by the Asia–Pacific Network for Global Change Research (Project Reference Number: ARCP2010-01CMY-Sthiannopkao).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Widmer
    • 1
  • Nguyen Thi Van Ha
    • 2
  • Soydoa Vinitnantharat
    • 3
  • Suthipong Sthiannopkao
    • 4
  • Setiawan Wangsaatmaja
    • 5
  • Maria Angela Novi Prasetiati
    • 5
  • Nguyen Cong Thanh
    • 6
  • Kasame Thepnoo
    • 7
  • Arief Dhany Sutadian
    • 5
  • Huynh Thi Thanh Thao
    • 8
  • Deby Fapyane
    • 1
  • Vibol San
    • 9
  • Pierangeli Vital
    • 10
  • Hor-Gil Hur
    • 11
  1. 1.International Environmental Analysis and Education CenterGwangju Institute of Science and TechnologyBukgu, GwangjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Ministry of Natural Resources and EnvironmentHo Chi Minh City University for Natural Resources and EnvironmentTan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh CityVietnam
  3. 3.Division of Environmental Technology, School of Energy, Environment and MaterialsKing Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT)Thungkru, BangkokThailand
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Engineering, College of EngineeringDong-A UniversityPusanRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.West Java Environmental Protection AgencyIndonesia, JlBandungIndonesia
  6. 6.International Center for Education Development T.H.TDalat CityVietnam
  7. 7.Department of Drainage and SewerageBangkok Metropolitan AdministrationDindaeng District, BangkokThailand
  8. 8.Faculty of EnvironmentHo Chi Minh City University of TechnologyDistrict 10, Ho Chi Minh CityVietnam
  9. 9.Department of Environmental ScienceRoyal University of Phnom Penh, Russian Federation BoulevardToul Kork, Phnom PenhCambodia
  10. 10.Natural Sciences Research InstituteUniversity of the Philippines DilimanQuezon CityPhilippines
  11. 11.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringGwangju Institute of Science and TechnologyBukgu, GwangjuRepublic of Korea

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