par Servais, Pierre ;Prats, Josué;Passerat, Julien ;Garcia Armisen, Tamara
Référence Canadian journal of microbiology, 55, 7, page (905-909)
Publication Publié, 2009-07-01
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Approved methods traditionally used for Escherichia coli enumeration in waters are culture-based. However, these methods can underestimate the E. coli abundance in aquatic systems because they do not take into account cells that remain viable but have lost the ability to grow in or on culture media. We investigated, in freshwater samples, the abundance of (i) culturable E. coli, enumerated by the most probable number microplate method and (ii) viable E. coli, estimated using a procedure called DVC-FISH, which couples fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and a viability testing technique (direct viable count (DVC)). The ratio of culturable to viable E. coli was close to 1 in highly contaminated waters (samples with a high concentration of culturable E. coli), but decreased drastically for weakly contaminated samples. This indicates a large fraction of viable but nonculturable (VBNC) E. coli in the latter samples. Microcosm experiments showed that some environmental factors, such as nutrient scarcity and solar irradiation, could lead to the presence of a high proportion of VBNC E. coli.