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Title: Pathogenic Fungi: an unacknowledged risk at coastal resorts? New insights on microbiological sand quality in Portugal
Author: Brandão, João
Keywords: Sand quality
Infecções Sistémicas e Zoonoses
Issue Date: 28-Sep-2011
Publisher: Instituto Nacional de Saúde Doutor Ricardo Jorge, IP
Abstract: Pathogenic Fungi: an unacknowledged risk at coastal resorts? New insights on microbiological sand quality in Portugal Raquel Sabino, Cristina Veríssimo, Célia Alves, Filipa C Ferreira, Maria Ana Cunha, Bela Wergikoski, Raquel Rodrigues, Helena Parada, Leonor Falcão, Laura Rosado, Catarina Pinheiro, Eleonora Paixão, João Brandão Affiliation: Reference Unit for Systemic Infections and Zoonosis - Department of Infectious Diseases, Instituto Nacional de Saúde/National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Av. Padre Cruz 1649-016 Lisboa, Portugal ( Contacts: E-mail:, Tel: (+351) 217.519.247, Fax: (+351) 217.526.400, Whilst the potential impact on beach users from microorganisms in water has received considerable attention, there has been relatively little investigation into microbial contaminants in sand. Between 2000 and 2002, a project involving several national institutions took place, aiming to define beach sand quality parameters and associated methods: “Microbiologic Quality of Coastal Beach Sands”. During this project we split Portugal into 5 regions and from each region 3 beaches were selected: One blue flag awarded (thus with documented good maintenance and water quality), one wild (with the least possible human intervention), and one with documented poor water quality. Samples were collected every 2 months for 13 months. Biological, biochemical and chemical parameters were studied. In 2006, Portugal initiated a voluntary sand quality microbiological monitoring programme through the Blue Flag association which lasted through 2010. With this activity data was collected which allowed to revise/update the initial project’s results: For this analysis, 33 beaches across Portugal were analyzed during a five year period (2006–2010) to determine the presence of yeasts, pathogenic fungi, dermatophytes, total coliforms, Escherichia coli and intestinal enterococci in sand. Our results showed that 60.4% of the samples were positive for fungi and that 25.2% were positive for the bacterial parameters. The most frequent fungal species found were Candida sp. and Aspergillus sp., whereas intestinal enterococci were the most frequently isolated bacteria. Positive associations were detected among analyzed parameters and country-regions but none among those parameters and sampling period. Regarding threshold values, we propose 15 cfu/g for yeasts, 17 cfu/g for potential pathogenic fungi, 8 cfu/g for dermatophytes. Twenty-five cfu/g for E. coli, and 10 cfu/g for intestinal enterococci.
Peer review: yes
Appears in Collections:DDI - Apresentações orais em encontros internacionais

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