Prevalence of Trichobilharzia and Escherichia coli in Missouri Lake Systems
Roberts, Roxanne M.
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Escherichia coli is a fecal bacterium used to determine water system health and the avian schistosome Trichobilharzia (family Schistomatidea) is a parasite of waterfowl gastrointestinal tracts that can cause dermatitis (swimmer’s itch) in humans. We hypothesized that high levels of E. coli would correlate with an increased presence of Trichobilharzia. Three sample sites in Missouri were sampled seasonally in triplicate for 12 months: Hazel Hill, Lions Lake, and Watkins Mill Lake. Meters determined pH, dissolved oxygen, and temperature at each sample site. Water samples were filtered and analyzed for Trichobilharzia and E. coli. No samples tested positive for Trichobilharzia. For E. coli the mean colony forming units (cfu) were 169 cfu at Hazel Hill, 105 cfu at Watkins Mill, and 97 cfu at Lions Lake. The highest numbers of colonies found were 308 cfu at Hazel Hill, 308 cfu at Watkins Mill, and 311 cfu at Lions Lake. Colony counts were determined to not be normally distributed between lake systems.