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Spatial and temporal variability of ribotyping results at a small watershed in South Carolina

The utility of library-based ribotyping methods for a very small   study area was evaluated through comparison of local results to   libraries with differing spatial and temporal scales. Ribotyping of   Escherichia coli isolates was used to evaluate sources of fecal   pollution at a coastal golf course in Beaufort County, South   Carolina. Thirty-five E. coli isolates were obtained from water   samples from a detention pond for testing against several local and   regional libraries of known-source isolate patterns. A library of 92   E. coli ribotype patterns was created from wildlife feces obtained   on the site. Additional libraries were available for comparison,   including a library from Morgan Island, a small, geographically   isolated area (including a monkey colony), and a library from   ongoing statewide assessments. Seventeen (49%) of the unknown E.   coli isolates matched isolates from raccoon and deer scat from the   local library. Two isolates (6%) were matched with monkey sources   from Morgan Island, and 13 (37%) were matched to raccoon, deer, and   cows from the statewide assessment. Evaluation of repeated   ribotyping analyses at the study area revealed evidence of temporal   variability of potential sources in the local library. Only one of   the isolates from the second year of fecal samples successfully   matched with a fecal isolate from the previous year. The results   from this study suggest that source identification results were   variable both spatially and temporally, and that local, temporally   specific libraries are most appropriate for library-based MST   studies in small watersheds. Results also suggest that it will be   difficult to employ adequate sample sizes to satisfactorily address   unknown pattern variability.    (Escherichia coli); (ribotpying); (variability); (microbial source   tracking); (MST); (bacterial source tracking); (BST)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Resource Being Monitored
Human Health
Societal/Surface Water
Beneficial Use Impairment Assessments
Beach Closings
Annex Numbers
Pollution from Contaminated Groundwater
Pollution from Non-Point Sources

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