Isolation of Burkholderia cenocepacia and Burkholderia vietnamiensis from human sewage

Damian McNeely, John E. Moore, J. Stuart Elborn, B. Cherie Millar, Jackie Rendall, James Dooley

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Fresh human sewage was examined from a sewage treatment plant for the presence of members of the Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC) of bacterial organisms and confirmed the presence of viable B. cenocepacia and B. vietnamiensis, by a combination of cultural, phenotypic and genotypic techniques. Both these organisms are important respiratory pathogens for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Presently, the survival dynamics of these organisms in sewage effluent and sludge is, as yet, unknown. Therefore, as this study represents the first report of these CF pathogens in sewage and until such survival data is available, careful risk assessment needs to be undertaken in relation to the end use application of potentially contaminated sewage and where such material comes into association with non-colonised patients with cystic fibrosis, so that any potential transmission of these pathogens from sewage to patient is assessed and minimised/eliminated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-162
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Health Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2009


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