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Prof. Laura Hug characterizes microbes of municipal waste in Jamaica

Friday, September 28, 2018

Prof. Laura Hug and female colleague stand by University of Waterloo sign.

Landfills represent the world's fastest growing contaminated sites and are potential contamination origins of surface and drinking water systems. Waterloo biologist Laura Hug, along with her colleagues, characterized the microbial communities of the Riverton City dump in Jamaica which lacks engineered protection for leachate containment and treatment.

The microbial communities of the Riverton City dump and adjacent Duhaney River were dominated by specific, nonoverlapping groups.

Metagenomic sequencing of both sites showed they contained microbes with degradation pathways of aromatic hydrocarbons, common contaminants from manufactured products.

Adversely, microorganisms sequenced from both environments showed resistance to widely used antibiotics, antiseptics, and metal contamination and shows possible human health hazards within the Duhaney River and Riverton City dump.

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