Discipline: Biological Sciences
Room: Exhibit Hall
Leira Yanak Figueroa Medina - Universidad Ana G. Mendez Recinto Carolina
Co-Author(s): Karlo Malavé-Llamas,Universidad Ana G. Mendez Recinto Carolina
Research studies show that Vibrio spp. mostly grows in coastal areas and in hot and warm waters in the United States of America. The bacterium can cause diseases in people when swimmers and non-swimmers ingest the contaminated water, or if they have a cut or a fissure in their skin, likewise by eating raw or poorly cooked seafood. The most common Vibrio spp. are Vibrio vulnificus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio alginolyticus and others. This bacterium is one of the main sources of infection in the United States; being responsible for 80,000 infections and 100 deaths per year. Puerto Rico is an island situated in the Caribbean, and an unincorporated territory of the United States since 1898. The agency that protects the environment in Puerto Rico is the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) and is responsible of making the water quality analysis. The DENR does not monitories Vibrio spp. because it is expensive, anyhow, it is important to monitor it because of its pathogenic potential. As the beaches of Puerto Rico are in constant use by tourists and residents, it is vitally important that these recreational waters be monitored with the aim to reduce infections and health risks to the public. The purpose of the study is to (a) establish if the selected beaches comply with the regulations established by the DENR and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Puerto Rico regarding microbial quality and quantity, (b) identifying and comparing the types of Vibrio spp. and the concentrations of coliforms at the sampling points and (c) evaluating the antibiotic resistance of some isolated Vibrio species in order to observe some trend in antibiotic resistance as seen in other studies. For the purposes of this study, we selected two (2) beaches to sample in the northern area of the island. These are El Balneario de Carolina (BCA) and El Balneario El Escambrón (ESC). Each of the sampling sites was subdivided into three (3) parts classified as A, B and C. At each point 100mL of water and about 12g of sand were collected. Both beaches have been sampled throughout the months of August through October to determine the presence of Vibrio spp. in different seasons. To preserve environmental conditions, the samples were transported at 4°C and taken to the laboratory in 4 hours or less, to ensure the viability of the sample. According to our results we can see that even though balneario de Carolina (BCA) presents more variety in they’re columns, there are higher concentrations in Escambrón (Esc). These public beaches are still under observation and will be monitored to observe any difference in CFU in each amount of time. The antibiotic resistance will be measure and established for the isolated samples to assess a possible public health concern for the public enjoying the selected balnearios.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Dra. Nydia Rodriguez Bonano, Project director HSI-BIOHSI-BIO 2020-38422-32239
Faculty Advisor: Karlo Malavé-Llamas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I participated in all aspects of this project; starting from the sample sites selection to filtration and isolation of the colonies. As well for the continuation of this research which includes identification on the colonies, antibiotic resistance pattern, and virulent factors.