Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 23, pp 23804–23814 | Cite as

Ciliated protozoa community of a combined UASB–activated sludge system in southeastern Brazil

  • Isabel Cristina Vidal Siqueira-Castro
  • Juliane Araújo Greinert-GoulartEmail author
  • Renato Rossetto
  • José Roberto Guimarães
  • Regina Maura Bueno Franco
Research Article


The aims of the present study were (1) to evaluate the abundance and taxonomic composition of ciliated protozoa in the activated sludge of a full-scale combined anaerobic-aerobic system operating in a tropical country and (2) to study the relationship between the effluent quality, the physicochemical variables, and the ciliates present in the operating system. The total ciliate fauna of the activated sludge of the Piçarrão Wastewater Treatment Plant (Piçarrão WWTP) was composed of 36 morphospecies belonging to 33 genera. These included 21 species observed in the activated sludge samples on the day of collection and 15 species found in cultures. The activated sludge of the Piçarrão WWTP contained a diversified ciliate community composed mainly of indicator organisms. The most frequently occurring morphospecies were Aspidisca cicada, Vorticella spp., Gastronauta aloisi, Acineria uncinata, and Epistylis plicatilis complex. These results showed that satisfactory operating conditions prevailed at the Piçarrão WWTP. In the combined UASB–activated sludge system, the presence of Aspidisca cicada suggests the occurrence of denitrification in the process while the presence of Acineria uncinata and G. alosi indicates the removal of carbonaceous organic matter.


Ciliates Microfauna Anaerobic-aerobic systems Wastewater treatment plants 



SANASA (Sociedade de Abastecimento de Água e Saneamento S.A.) kindly provided the activated sludge samples and provided the physicochemical and operational data. This study was supported by FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation—Process 2010/16222), CAPES (Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education—Process 23038.008057/2010–13), FURB (Fundação Universidade Regional de Blumenau)—Doctoral Scholarship—application invitation 05/2008, and CNPq (National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development14/2010-Edital Universal).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabel Cristina Vidal Siqueira-Castro
    • 1
  • Juliane Araújo Greinert-Goulart
    • 2
    Email author
  • Renato Rossetto
    • 3
  • José Roberto Guimarães
    • 4
  • Regina Maura Bueno Franco
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Protozoologia, Instituto de BiologiaUNICAMPCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Parasitologia, Departamento de Ciências NaturaisFURBBlumenauBrazil
  3. 3.Sociedade de Abastecimento de Água e Saneamento de CampinasCampinasBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratório de Processos Oxidativos, Faculdade de Engenharia CivilUNICAMPCampinasBrazil

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