Detection of Campylobacter jejuni Presence in Trinidad’s Aquatic Environments

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Water, Air, and Soil Pollution


Water quality is a growing concern throughout the developing world and the effects of water pollution can be both harmful and costly. Increasing levels of fecal pollution and associated waterborne pathogens pose a potential economic constraint and hardship for Caribbean islands as their economies primarily depend on a thriving coastal tourism industry. This study aimed to evaluate the presence of Campylobacter jejuni, a pathogenic bacterium that is known to cause gastroenteritis in humans, on the island of Trinidad, where fecal contamination at public beaches is not routinely monitored. A total of 58 water samples were collected from 35 sampling sites, including 23 marine and 12 freshwater locations. DNA was extracted from each sample and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis using endpoint assays was used to test for the presence of Campylobacter jejuni. C. jejuni was detected in over 41% of the sites using the cpn60 target gene. The high incidence of fecal pollution and pathogenic bacteria at the public beaches represents a serious public health risk on the island and highlights the challenges facing developing countries that rely on tourism.


Biological and Environmental Sciences

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