Potential of Bacteriophage Therapy in Treating Hospital Wastewater
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2020, Volume 7, Issue 11, Pages 581-596
AbstractHospital wastewater contains increased amounts of antibiotics, disinfectant, and by-products of hospital operations. The indiscriminate discharge of hospital wastewater is considered as a significant sanitation problem and a mode of transmission of diseases. The study evaluated the efficacy of phages as an alternative method for controlling the occurrence of pathogenic bacteria in hospital wastewater. Specifically, it determined (1) the identity of the bacteria isolated from the hospital wastewater; (2) the concentration of the phage lysate that can effectively destroy the pathogens isolated from the wastewater; and (3) if significant difference exists on the effect of the different phage lysate concentrations on the growth and development of the pathogens isolated from the hospital wastewater. The findings of the study show that there were three bacterial pathogens isolated from the hospital wastewater. These were Escherichia coli (Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase positive), Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas putida. These bacteria are all clinically significant as they cause different diseases and is one reason for increasing morbidity and mortality worldwide. The results of the mean plaque forming units per milliliter revealed that Escherichia coli exhibited the highest number of clearing (plaques) in the 100% phage lysate concentration, having a mean pfu/mL of 1.481 x 104 . E. coli was followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae, with a mean pfu/mL of 6.307 x 103 and Pseudomonas putida, with a mean pfu/mL of 5.891 x 103 . There is a direct proportional relationship between the phage lysate concentration and the mean pfu/mL. It reveals a positive agreement between these two variables, meaning that as the phage lysate concentration increases, so does the mean pfu/mL, and it happens in all the bacteria isolated. The result of the One Way Analysis of Variance reveals that even if the 100% phage lysate concentration exhibited the highest number of plaque forming units per milliliter, statistical analysis shows no significant difference in the pfu/mL between these bacteria. In conclusion, the presence of bacterial isolates (like Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas putida) in hospital wastewater confirms that the current treatment process of some secondary hospitals is not effective in destroying the clinically infectious pathogens found in the wastewater these hospitals generate. Therefore, treatment of hospital’s wastewater can be achieved by bacteriophages as bio-control agent. For future direction of the study, the researcher recommends to include more wastewater samples to isolate more strains of bacteria. Furthermore, the investigator suggests to identify the bacteriophages present by performing genomic sequencing. Other recommendations include the determination of specific host range of bacteriophages among target bacterial cells, and the promotion of bacteriophage therapy as an alternative way to treat hospital wastewater especially to small health centers and hospitals that cannot afford the establishment of their own water treatment facility.
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