The main difference between faecal and non-faecal coliforms is that faecal coliforms are a form of coliforms that originate in the intestine of the warm-blooded animals whereas non-faecal coliforms are the members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. Furthermore, faecal coliforms indicate the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in water and food while non-faecal coliforms ferment lactose, producing a gas.
Faecal coliforms and non-faecal coliforms are two types of coliform bacteria. Coliforms are Gram-negative bacteria that are rod-shaped and non-spore forming.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Faecal Coliforms
– Definition, Facts, Testing
2. What are Non Faecal Coliforms
– Definition, Facts, Testing
3. What are the Similarities Between Faecal and Non Faecal Coliforms
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Faecal and Non Faecal Coliforms
– Comparison of Key Differences
Key Terms: Faecal Coliforms, Habitat, Influence of Coliforms, Non Faecal Coliforms, Test for Coliforms
What are Faecal Coliforms
Faecal coliforms are the coliform bacteria associated with faecal matter. They originate in the intestine of warm-blooded animals. Plants, soil, and water can be contaminated with the waste of these animals. Association of faecal coliforms in water and other samples indicates the presence of other pathogenic forms of microorganisms in these sources. If the faecal coliform count is higher than 200 colonies per 100 mL water, the chance for the presence of pathogenic organisms is greater. Several types of diseases may occur such as typhoid fever, hepatitis, dysentery, gastroenteritis, and ear infections due to the swallowing of those pathogenic microorganisms.
The water a of 100 mL volume sample can be filtered using a membrane filter with 0.45 μm pore size. The filter paper is then placed on a petri dish with m-FC agar. When incubated at 37 °C, coliform bacteria including E. coli produce blue-green colour colonies while other non-faecal coliforms form pink colonies.
What are Non Faecal Coliforms
Non faecal coliforms are a type of coliforms that inhabit the environment. They belong to the family Enterobacteriaceae that encompasses about 20 genera. Some of the genera of coliforms include:
The total coliform bacteria indicate the sanitary quality of water. Total coliforms include both faecal and non-faecal coliforms. Since coliforms from soil and faecal contaminations are included for the total coliform count, it serves as an indicator of water pollution.
Similarities Between Faecal and Non Faecal Coliforms
- Faecal and non faecal coliforms are bacteria that ferment lactose.
- Both indicate the quality of water and food.
- Both are Gram-Negative, Rod-shaped bacteria.
- They do not produce spores.
- They can be either motile or non-motile.
- Both are facultative anaerobes that do not require oxygen.
- They do not cause any serious illness under normal conditions.
Difference Between Faecal and Non Faecal Coliforms
The faecal coliforms refer to facultative anaerobes that originate from the intestine of warm-blooded animals while non-faecal coliforms refer to rod-shaped Gram-negative bacteria that belongs to the family Enterobacteriaceae.
The faecal coliforms live in the intestine of the warm-blooded animals while non-faecal coliforms live in soil, aquatic environment, and on vegetation.
Faecal coliforms indicate the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in food and water while non-faecal coliforms ferment lactose, producing an acid and a gas.
The optimal temperature for lactose fermentation by faecal coliforms is 44 °C while optimal temperature for lactose fermentation by non-faecal coliforms is 37 °C.
On the Selective mFC Medium
Faecal coliforms develop dark-blue colonies while non-Faecal coliforms form pink colonies.
Some examples of faecal coliforms are E.coli while some non-Faecal coliforms are Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Citrobacter.
Faecal coliforms originate from the intestine of the warm-blooded animals while non-faecal coliforms inhabit soil, water, and other vegetation. Both indicate the quality of food and water. High coliform counts increase the risk of pathogenic microorganisms. The main difference between faecal and non-faecal coliforms is the habitat and their influence.
1. “faecal Coliform.” Flint River GREEN Notebook, FLINT RIVER WATERSHED COALITION, Apr. 2011, Available Here
2. “The Debate: Coliforms, faecal Coliforms, and Enterobacteriaceae as Indicator Organisms.” Biolumix, Available Here
3. “A Simple Test for Differentiation between E. Coli and A. Aerogenes.” Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics, Elsevier, 14 Apr. 2003, Available Here
1. “E coli at 10000x, original” By Photo by Eric Erbe, digital colorization by Christopher Pooley, both of USDA, ARS, EMU – by the Agricultural Research Service, the research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, with the ID K11077-1 (next). (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Coliforme – ENDO agar” By Matthias M. – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia