Source tracking of Enterococcus moraviensis and E. haemoperoxidus

M. Taucer-Kapteijn*, Wim Hoogenboezem, Remco Hoogenboezem, Sander De Haas, Gertjan Medema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Enterococciwere detected occasionally in 100 L samples ofwater abstracted froma shallowaquifer in a natural dune infiltration area for drinking water production. Enterococcus moraviensis was the species most frequently identified in these samples. Because there are no existing reports of faecal sources of E. moraviensis and the closely related E. hemoperoxidus, this study aimed to find such sources of these two species in the dunes. Faecal samples from various animal species living in the vicinity of abstraction wells, were analysed for enterococci on Slanetz and Bartley Agar. From these samples, enterococci isolates (1,386 in total) were subsequently identified using matrix assisted laser desorption ionizationtimeof flight (MALDI-TOF)mass spectrometry. E.moraviensiswas found in the faeces of geese, foxes and rabbits. Also, E. haemoperoxidus was isolated from goose faeces. Using hierarchical clustering, the species composition of Enterococcus spp. isolated from abstracted water formed one cluster with the species composition found in geese droppings. A sanitary survey supported the indication that feral geese may provide a substantial faecal load in particular parts of this dune infiltration area, close to the water abstraction system. This study confirms the faecal origin of E.moraviensis and E. haemoperoxidus from specific animals, which strengthens their significance as faecal indicators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Water and Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Animal faeces
  • Dune filtration area
  • Enterococci
  • Faecal indicators
  • Geese


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