First microbiota assessments of children's paddling pool waters evaluated using 16S rRNA gene-based metagenome analysis

Toko Sawabe, Wataru Suda, Kenshiro Ohshima, Masahira Hattori, Tomoo Sawabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Insufficient chloric sterilization of children's paddling pool waters increases the risk of diarrheal illness. Therefore, we investigated the microbiota changes after children use pools. First, we applied 16S rRNA gene-based metagenome analysis to understand the dynamics of microbiota in pool water, especially with respect to the bio-contamination by potential pathogens. Proteobacteria were major taxa detected in every pool water sample after children spent time in the pool. In more detail, Gammaproteobacteria comprised the dominant class, which was followed by Betaproteobacteria. Five phyla, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Deinococcus-Thermus phyla were minor groups. The pool water microbiota are likely to be a consortium of intestinal and skin microbiota from humans. Interestingly, the ratio of Gammaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria differed according to the age of the children who used the pool, which means the pool water was additionally contaminated by soil microbiota as a result of the children's behavior. Furthermore, potential pathogens, such as Campylobacter spp., Comamonas testosteroni and Burkholderia pseudomallei, were also found. Considering the standard plate counts, the abundances of these human pathogens are unlikely to be a sufficiently infectious dose. We suggest the importance of sanitary measures in paddling pool waters to reduce bio-contamination from both humans and the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-365
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infection and Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1


  • Children's paddling pool
  • Contamination
  • Metagenome
  • Microbiota
  • Small subunit rRNA gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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