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Microfungi in drinking water : the role of the frog Litoria caerulea

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journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Noel Sammon, Keith Estate Of Harrower, Larelle Fabbro, Robert Reed
Abstract: Microfungi were recovered from all parts of a municipal water distribution system in sub-tropical Australia even though virtually no colony-forming units were recovered from the treated water as it left the treatment plant. A study was then undertaken to determine the potential sources of the microfungal population in the distribution system. Observation of frogs (Litoria caerulea) using the internal infrastructure of a reservoir as diurnal sleeping places, together with observation of visible microfungal growth on their faecal pellets, led to an investigation of the possible involvement of this animal. Old faecal pellets were collected and sporulating fungal colonies growing on their surfaces were identified. Fresh faecal pellets were collected and analysed for microfungal content, and skin swabs were analysed for yeasts. It was found that the faeces and skin of L. caerulea carried large numbers of yeasts as well as spores of various filamentous fungal genera. While there are many possible sources of microfungal contamination of municipal drinking water supplies, this study has revealed that the Australian green tree frog L. caerulea is one of the important sources of filamentous microfungi and yeasts in water storage reservoirs in sub-tropical Australia where the animal is endemic.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

7

Start Page

3225

End Page

3234

Number of Pages

10

eISSN

1660-4601

Location

Basel, Switzerland

Publisher

MDPI

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Centre for Plant and Water Science; Institute for Resource Industries and Sustainability (IRIS);

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

International journal of environmental research and public health.

Exports

CQUniversity

Exports