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     ,2017 Volume 57,Table of Contents for this issue

The microbial quality of urban recreational water is of great concern to public health. The monitoring of indicator organisms and several pathogens alone is not sufficient to accurately and comprehensively identify microbial risks. To assess the levels of bacterial pathogens and health risks in urban recreational water, we analyzed pathogen diversity and quantified four pathogens in 46 water samples collected from waterbodies in Beijing Olympic Forest Park in one year. The pathogen diversity revealed by 16S rRNA gene targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) showed that 16 of 40 genera and 13 of 76 reference species were present. The most abundant species were Acinetobacter johnsonii, Mycobacterium avium and Aeromonas spp. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) of Escherichia coli (uidA), Aeromonas (aerA), M. avium (16S rRNA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (oaa) and Salmonella (invA) showed that the aerA genes were the most abundant, occurring in all samples with concentrations of 104–6 genome copies/100 mL, followed by oaa, invA and M. avium. In total, 34.8% of the samples harbored all genes, indicating the prevalence of these pathogens in this recreational waterbody. Based on the qPCR results, a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) showed that the annual infection risks of Salmonella, M. avium and P. aeruginosa in five activities were mostly greater than the U.S. EPA risk limit for recreational contacts, and children playing with water may be exposed to the greatest infection risk. Our findings provide a comprehensive understanding of bacterial pathogen diversity and pathogen abundance in urban recreational water by applying both NGS and qPCR.

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