IOUQMER - Impact of urban organisations on the microbiological quality of surface runoff and the spread of the pathogenic species Pseudomonas Aeruginosa (2016)

Scientific coordinator: Benoit Cournoyer (LEM)
Disciplines: Urban microbiology – Urban hydrology – Socio-urban planning – Economics
Laboratories: LEM – EVS – DEEP – GATE
Partner: Lyon Métropole


Urban conurbations accumulate and concentrate a number of pollutants. Paradoxically, although urbanisation appears increasingly as a formation of ecosystems having global impacts, urban ecology attracts little attention, particularly as concerns health and hygiene issues including microbiological contamination in cities, apart from in hospitals. Research has recently commenced in this area. The prevalence of certain forms of pathogenic bacteria has been investigated with regard to certain activities, e.g. the New York subway. New data acquired in 2016 by members of the IOUQMER project also made it possible to prove the presence of the PA7 subclade of the pathogenic species Pseudomonas Aeruginosa in the Lyon conurbation. Isolates of this subclade have not been referenced to date in the natural environment in France, and at the global level data on its environmental dissemination are very limited.
This project will therefore seek to define the microbiological dangers for urban areas in terms of contamination of a faecal/urinary origin and also in terms of the prevalence of the P. aeruginosa species and the PA7 subclade. These dangers will be considered in the context of urban organisations and activities and dissemination phenomena encouraged by surface runoff in cities. The project will be based experimentally on the Mi-Plaine industrial drainage basin in the Lyon Métropole area, which has given permission to observe the PA7 subclade. It will make it possible (i) to infer the urban practices or morphotypes favouring the spread of this subclade and explaining the differentiation of certain lines (comparative genomics), (ii) to establish correlations or relations between the presence of this subclade and bacteria of a faecal/urinary origin and even pathogenic or antibiotic-resistant forms, and (iii) to ultimately provide a tool to enable local authorities to identify zones requiring monitoring or action in terms of rehabilitation for the prevention and reduction of exposure to certain pathogenic forms. This project will be carried out by a consortium including microbiologists, socio-urban planners, statisticians and urban hydrologists.