Exposure to microorganisms resistant to antimicrobials may constitute a health risk to human populations. It is believed that one route of exposure occurs when people engage in recreational activities in water contaminated with these microorganisms. The main objective of this study was to explore population-level and environmental determinants specifically associated with the presence of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) generic Escherichia coli isolated from recreational waters sampled from beaches located in southern Quebec, Canada. Water samples originated from the Quebec provincial beach surveillance program for the summers of 2004 and 2005. This study focused on three classes of determinants, namely: agricultural, population-level and beach characteristics for a total of 19 specific factors. The study was designed as a retrospective observational analysis and factors were assessed using logistic regression methods. From the multivariable analysis, the data suggested that the percentage of land used for spreading liquid manure was a significant factor associated with the presence of AMR E. coli (OR=27.73). Conceptually, broad factors potentially influencing the presence of AMR bacteria in water must be assessed specifically in addition to factors associated with general microbial contamination. Presence of AMR E. coli in recreational waters from beaches in southern Quebec may represent a risk for people engaging in water activities and this study provides preliminary evidence that agricultural practices, specifically spreading liquid manure in agricultural lands nearby beaches, may be linked to the contamination of these waters by AMR E. coli.
Institut national de santé publique du Québec, Québec, QC, Canada; Axe santé publique et pratiques optimales en santé, Centre de recherche du Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Québec, QC, Canada.
This study was designed to evaluate the epidemiology of severe gastroenteritis in children living in Québec rural areas with intensive livestock activities. From September 2005 through June 2007, 165 cases of gastroenteritis in children aged from 6 months to 5 years, hospitalized or notified to the public health department were enrolled, and 326 eligible controls participated. The parents of cases and controls were asked questions about different gastroenteritis risk factors. The quality of the drinking water used by the participants was investigated for microbial indicators as well as for four zoonotic bacterial pathogens (Campylobacter spp, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp and Yersinia spp) and two enteric parasites (Cryptosporidium spp and Giardia spp). From 134 stool specimen analysed, viruses were detected in 82 cases (61%), while 28 (21%) were found with at least one of the bacteria investigated, and five cases were infected by parasites. Campylobacteriosis was the main bacterial infection (n = 15), followed by Salmonella sp (n = 7) and E. coli O157:H7 (n = 5) among cases with bacterial gastroenteritis. No significant difference was found between cases and controls regarding the quality of water consumed; the frequency of faecal contamination of private wells was also similar between cases and controls. Considering the total cases (including those with a virus), no link was found between severe gastroenteritis and either being in contact with animals or living in a municipality with the highest animal density (4th quartile). However, when considering only cases with a bacterial or parasite infection (n = 32), there was a weak association with pig density that was not statistically significant after adjusting for potential confounders. Contact with domestic, zoo or farm animals were the only environmental factor associated with the disease.
We analyzed data from the notifiable diseases data base in Québec to document the incidence of giardiasis. The objectives were to perform a descriptive analysis of the cases of giardiasis and to verify the relation between their incidence and the quality of drinking water.
The Québec notifiable diseases data-base contained 4273 cases of giardiasis declared between January 1st, 1990 and December 31st, 1995. Incidence rates were adjusted for age and calculated monthly. The sources and kinds of treatment of drinking water permitted to elaborate a vulnerability scale for classifying contamination by Giardia sp. into four categories. Incidence of giardiasis was examined in relation with this vulnerability scale. Other socioeconomic indicators possibly associated with the incidence of giardiasis were also analyzed.
Analysis showed that there were few annual variations in the incidence of giardiasis and that there were no epidemic peaks during the study period. According to age, the incidence follows a bimodal pattern with a peak for young children and young adults. The incidence rates showed an increase of the cases at the end of summer and at the beginning of fall, with a higher relative risk for males. Even if no relation was found between the incidence of giardiasis and the vulnerability of the drinking water source, incidence rates were lower for people living in communities that use the St. Lawrence River as a drinking water source than for those using other sources of surface water.
This study allowed us to obtain a good description of the cases of giardiasis declared in Québec and to formulate hypothesis about their causes. The lower incidence of giardiasis in communities that use the St. Lawrence river as their drinking water source is possibly related to a lower contamination of this source. However, considering the limits of this work, case-control studies should be considered to understand variables, which influence the incidence of giardiasis in Québec.