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False-positive enterococci counts in seawater with the IDEXX Enterolert-E most probable number technique caused by Bacillus licheniformis
Peperzak, L.; van Bleijswijk, J. (2020). False-positive enterococci counts in seawater with the IDEXX Enterolert-E most probable number technique caused by Bacillus licheniformis. Environm. Sc. & Poll. Res. Early view. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-11342-6
In: Environmental Science and Pollution Research. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0944-1344; e-ISSN 1614-7499, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Ballast water; Enterococci; False positive; IDEXX; Enterolert-E; Bacillus licheniformis; Wadden Sea

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  • Peperzak, L., meer
  • van Bleijswijk, J., meer

Abstract
    Enterolert-E is an easy-to-use method for the enumeration of enterococci in water samples as an indicator of fecal pollution. This most probable number technique replaced the laborious and more time-consuming MEA-BEA plating method, and it is used extensively in ballast water testing and monitoring. In spring 2018, the Control Union Water ballast water test facility measured high enterococci concentrations in Wadden Sea water without any correlation with polluted freshwater input. By isolating bacteria from samples incubated in Enterolert-E culture medium, followed by analyses of colony morphology and DNA, it is shown that these erroneously high concentrations were caused by Bacillus licheniformis, a gram-positive rod-shaped chlorine-resistant bacterium. It is concluded that control analyses or the MEA-BEA method or dilution to reduce salinity must be performed when high enterococci concentrations are measured in water samples that are not suspected to be polluted.

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