skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Steele, Joshua A."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Bernstein, Hans C. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Interactions between vibrio bacteria and the planktonic community impact marine ecology and human health. Many coastal Vibrio spp. can infect humans, representing a growing threat linked to increasing seawater temperatures. Interactions with eukaryotic organisms may provide attachment substrate and critical nutrients that facilitate the persistence, diversification, and spread of pathogenic Vibrio spp. However, vibrio interactions with planktonic organisms in an environmental context are poorly understood. We quantified the pathogenic Vibrio species V. cholerae , V. parahaemolyticus , and V. vulnificus monthly for 1 year at five sites and observed high abundances, particularly during summer months, with species-specific temperature and salinity distributions. Using metabarcoding, we established a detailed profile of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic coastal microbial communities. We found that pathogenic Vibrio species were frequently associated with distinct eukaryotic amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), including diatoms and copepods. Shared environmental conditions, such as high temperatures and low salinities, were associated with both high concentrations of pathogenic vibrios and potential environmental reservoirs, which may influence vibrio infection risks linked to climate change and should be incorporated into predictive ecological models and experimental laboratory systems. IMPORTANCE Many species of coastal vibrio bacteria can infect humans, representing a growing health threat linked to increasingmore »seawater temperatures. However, their interactions with surrounding microbes in the environment, especially eukaryotic organisms that may provide nutrients and attachment substrate, are poorly understood. We quantified three pathogenic Vibrio species monthly for a duration of 1 year, finding that all three species were abundant and exhibited species-specific temperature and salinity distributions. Using metabarcoding, we investigated associations between these pathogenic species and prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes, revealing genus and amplicon sequence variant (ASV)-specific relationships with potential functional implications. For example, pathogenic species were frequently associated with chitin-producing eukaryotes, such as diatoms in the genus Thalassiosira and copepods. These associations between high concentrations of pathogenic vibrios and potential environmental reservoirs should be considered when predicting infection risk and developing ecologically relevant model systems.« less
  2. Wastewater-based epidemiology has gained attention throughout the world for detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater to supplement clinical testing. Raw wastewater consists of small particles, or solids, suspended in liquid. Methods have been developed to measure SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the liquid and the solid fraction of wastewater, with some studies reporting higher concentrations in the solid fraction. To investigate this relationship further, six laboratories collaborated to conduct a study across five publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) where both primary settled solids obtained from primary clarifiers and raw wastewater influent samples were collected and quantified for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Settled solids and influent samples were processed by participating laboratories using their respective methods and retrospectively paired based on date of collection. SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations, on a mass equivalent basis, were higher in settled solids than in influent by approximately three orders of magnitude. Concentrations in matched settled solids and influent were positively and significantly correlated at all five POTWs. RNA concentrations in both settled solids and influent were correlated to COVID-19 incidence rates in the sewersheds and thus representative of disease occurrence; the settled solids methods appeared to produce a comparable relationship between SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentration measurements and incidence rates across allmore »POTWs. Settled solids and influent methods showed comparable sensitivity, N gene detection frequency, and calculated empirical incidence rate lower limits. Analysis of settled solids for SARS-CoV-2 RNA has the advantage of using less sample volume to achieve similar sensitivity to influent methods.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 15, 2023
  3. null (Ed.)
    SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in wastewater is being rapidly developed and adopted as a public health monitoring tool worldwide. With wastewater surveillance programs being implemented across many different scales and by many different stakeholders, it is critical that data collected and shared are accompanied by an appropriate minimal amount of meta-information to enable meaningful interpretation and use of this new information source and intercomparison across datasets. While some databases are being developed for specific surveillance programs locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, common globally-adopted data standards have not yet been established within the research community. Establishing such standards will require national and international consensus on what meta-information should accompany SARS-CoV-2 wastewater measurements. To establish a recommendation on minimum information to accompany reporting of SARS-CoV-2 occurrence in wastewater for the research community, the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Coordination Network on Wastewater Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 hosted a workshop in February 2021 with participants from academia, government agencies, private companies, wastewater utilities, public health laboratories, and research institutes. This report presents the primary two outcomes of the workshop: (i) a recommendation on the set of minimum meta-information that is needed to confidently interpret wastewater SARS-CoV-2 data, and (ii) insights from workshop discussionsmore »on how to improve standardization of data reporting.« less