International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences

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Damage mechanisms of pathogenic bacteria in drinking water during chlorine and solar disinfection

Seyram K. Sossou, Dotse K. Gbedenu, Yacouba Konate, Boukary Sawadogo, Yaovi Ameyapoh, Amadou H. Maiga, Naoyuki Funamizu


This study aimed at elucidating the inactivation mechanisms of pathogenic bacteria in drinking water during chlorine and solar disinfection using a simple plating method. The well-known bacterial model Escherichia coli was used as pathogenic bacteria for the experiments. The damage mechanisms of E. coli were evaluated by simple plating method on selective, less selective and non-selective media. Results showed that, injured E. coli were detected at different levels during chlorine and solar disinfection. The use of selective media during water quality control showed effectively the destruction of E. coli during solar disinfection while the removal of E. coli during chlorine disinfection was not ensured. The damage of cell components and/or metabolic functions showed that there is a primary and mainly damage of E. coli during chorine and solar disinfection. Chlorination firstly and mainly damaged membrane cell followed by that of enzymatic functions and nucleic acid; while solar disinfection damaged mainly nucleic acid. The use of simple plating method in water quality control is limited by the choice of plating media depending on the disinfectant used. The understanding of the damage mechanisms of pathogenic bacteria cells during disinfection helps improve drinking water quality control and develops more effective disinfection strategies.

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Keywords: Drinking water, pathogenic bacteria, E. coli, damage mechanisms, chlorine disinfection, solar disinfection
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