Home / Assoc. Prof. PD. Mag. Dr. Alexander Kirschner

Assoc. Prof. PD. Mag. Dr. Alexander Kirschner

Deputy Head of Dept. Pharmacology, Physiology and Microbiology, Division Water Quality and Health

Publications

  1. 2021

    • Book Chapter

      • Dielacher, I., Hack, K., Jakwerth, S., Kolarevic, S., Kračun-Kolarević, M., Toth, E., Savio, D., Farnleitner, A.H., Kittinger, C., Kirschner, A.K.T., Zarfel, G. & Koller, M., 2021. Occurence of non-wild type antibiotic resistant Escherichia coli in the River Danube. In Joint Danube Survey 4 Scientific Report: A shared Analysis of the Danube River. Vienna, S. 193-198.

      • Kirschner, A.K.T., Schachner, I., Jakwerth, S., Savio, D., Toth, E., Kolarevic, S., Kračun-Kolarević, M., Zarfel, G.E., Kittinger, C., Koller, M., Ixenmaier, S., Linke, R. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2021. Microbial faecal pollution and source tracking. In Joint Danube Survey 4 Scientific Report: A shared Analysis of the Danube River. Vienna, S. 183-192.

      • Sanseverino, I., A Cuenca, N., Lahm, A., Petrillo, M., Fabbri, M., L Cortes, G., Farnleitner, A.H., Kirschner, A.K.T., Zarfel, G., Zaccara, S. & Lettieri, T., 2021. Microbiome: Microbial community and environmental DNA analysis. In Joint Danube Survey 4 Scientific Report: A shared Analysis of the Danube River. Vienna, S. 199-212.

    • Journal Article

      • Demeter, K., Derx, J., Komma, J., Parajka, J., Schijven, J., Sommer, R., Cervero-Aragó, S., Lindner, G., Zoufal-Hruza, C.M., Linke, R., Savio, D., Ixenmaier, S.K., Kirschner, A.K.T., Kromp, H., Blaschke, A.P. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2021. Modelling the interplay of future changes and wastewater management measures on the microbiological river water quality considering safe drinking water production. Science of The Total Environment, 768.

      • Derx, J., Demeter, K., Linke, R., Cervero-Aragó, S., Lindner, G., Stalder, G., Schijven, J., Sommer, R., Walochnik, J., Kirschner, A.K.T., Komma, J., Blaschke, A.P. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2021. Genetic Microbial Source Tracking Support QMRA Modeling for a Riverine Wetland Drinking Water Resource. Frontiers in microbiology, 12, S.668778.

      • Derx, J., Komma, J., Reiner, P., Vierheilig, J., Savio, D., Sommer, R., Kirschner, A.K.T., Frick, C., Linke, R., Farnleitner, A.H. & Blaschke, A.Paul, 2021. Using hydrodynamic and hydraulic modelling to study microbiological water quality issues at a backwater area of the Danube to support decision-making. Österreichische Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaft.

      • Kirschner, A.K.T., Lindner, G., Jakwerth, S., Vierheilig, J., van Driezum, I.H., Derx, J., Blaschke, A.Paul, Savio, D. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2021. Assessing biological stability in a porous groundwater aquifer of a riverbank filtration system: combining traditional cultivation-based and emerging cultivation-independent in situ and predictive methods. Österreichische Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaft.

      • Kirschner, A.K.T., Vierheilig, J., Flemming, H.-C., Wingender, J. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2021. How dead is dead? Viable but non-culturable versus persister cells. Environmental microbiology reports.

      • Kolarevic, S., Micsinai, A., Szanto-Egesz, R., Lukacs, A., Kračun-Kolarević, M., Lundy, L., Kirschner, A.K.T., Farnleitner, A.H., Djukic, A., Colic, J., Nenin, T., Sunjog, K. & Paunović, M., 2021. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the Danube River in Serbia associated with the discharge of untreated wastewaters. The Science of the total environment, 783, S.146967.

  2. 2020

    • Journal Article

      • Demeter, K., Burnet, J.-B., Stadler, P., Kirschner, A.K.T., Zessner, M. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2020. Automated online monitoring of fecal pollution in water by enzymatic methods. Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health.

      • Frick, C., Vierheilig, J., Nadiotis-Tsaka, T., Ixenmaier, S., Linke, R., Reischer, G.H., Komma, J., Kirschner, A.K.T., Mach, R.L., Savio, D., Seidl, D., Blaschke, A.P., Sommer, R., Derx, J. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2020. Elucidating fecal pollution patterns in alluvial water resources by linking standard fecal indicator bacteria to river connectivity and genetic microbial source tracking. Water Research, S.116132.

      • Kolm, C., Cervenka, I., Aschl, U.J., Baumann, N., Jakwerth, S., Krska, R., Mach, R.L., Sommer, R., DeRosa, M.C., Kirschner, A.K.T., Farnleitner, A.H. & Reischer, G.H., 2020. DNA aptamers against bacterial cells can be efficiently selected by a SELEX process using state-of-the art qPCR and ultra-deep sequencing. Scientific Reports, 10(1).

      • Vezzulli, L., Baker-Austin, C., Kirschner, A.K.T., Pruzzo, C. & Martinez-Urtaza, J., 2020. Global emergence of environmental non-O1/O139 Vibrio cholerae infections linked with climate change: a neglected research field?. Environmental microbiology.

  3. 2019

    • Book Chapter

      • Kolarevic, S., Kračun-Kolarević, M., Jovanovic, J., Ilić, M., Paunović, M., Kostić-Vuković, J., Martinović, R., Jokanović, S., Joksimovic, D., Pešić, V., Kirschner, A.K.T., Linke, R., Ixenmaier, S., Farnleitner, A.H., Savio, D., Reischer, G., Tomić, N. & Vuković-Gačić, B., 2019. Microbiological Water Quality of Rivers in Montenegro. In The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

      • Linke, R.B., Stadler, P., Reischer, G.H., Savio, D., Kollanur, D., Mayer, R., Mach, R.L., Kirschner, A.K.T., Sommer, R., Derx, J., Stadler, H. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2019. Using genetic microbial source tracking (MST) markers to identify fecal pollution sources in spring water of a large alpine karst catchment. In J. B. Rose & Jiménez-Cisneros, B. (Hrsg.): Global Water Pathogen Project. East Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State UniversityUNESCO.

    • Conference Paper

      • Baron, S., Larvor, E., Jouy, E., Kempf, I., Chevalier, S., Granier, S.A., Boncy, J., Rossignol, E., Piarroux, R., Kirschner, A.K.T., Lesne, J. & Smith, P., 2019. Poster: Determination of provisional epidemiological cut-off values (COWT): a first step to monitor antimicrobial resistance in Vibrio cholerae non-O1/non-O139 isolates. In 8th Biennial International Conference on the Biology of Vibrios (ICBV). November 17-20, 2019. Montreal, Canada.

      • Cervero-Arago, S., Schrammel, B., Dietersdorfer, E., Sommer, R., Luck, C., Walochnik, J. & Kirschner, A.K.T., 2019. Presentation: Viable but nonculturable (VBNC) Legionella pneumophila induced at high temperatures: viability and infectivity patterns. In 20th International Symposium on Health-Related Water Microbiology (HRWM). 15-20 September 2019. Vienna, Austria.

      • Demeter, K., Derx, J., Schijven, J., Sommer, R., Cervero-Arago, S., Lindner, G., Zoufal-Hruza, C., Linke, R.B., Savio, D., Ixenmaier, S.K., Kirschner, A.K.T., Tomenendal, A., Blaschke, A.P. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2019. Poster: Effect of climatic and demographic changes and the upgrading of wastewater infrastructure on the bacterial faecal pollution of a large river and on the associated health risks. In 20th International Symposium on Health-Related Water Microbiology (HRWM). 15-20 September 2019. Vienna, Austria.

      • Frick, C., Vierheilig, J., Zornig, H., Antensteiner, R., Baumgartner, C., Bucher, C., Blaschke, A.P., Derx, J., Kirschner, A.K.T., Ryzinska-Paier, G., Mayer, R., Seidl, D., Nadiotis-Tsaka, T., Sommer, R. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2019. Presentation: Poikilothermic animals as a previously unrecognized source of fecal indicator bacteria. In 20th International Symposium on Health-Related Water Microbiology (HRWM). 15-20 September 2019. Vienna, Austria.

      • Kilic, H.S., Cervero-Arago, S., Frick, C., Linke, R.B., Schijven, J., Kirschner, A.K.T., Lindner, G., Walochnik, J., Sommer, R., Blaschke, A.P., Farnleitner, A.H. & Derx, J., 2019. Poster: Sources, Transport Paths and Infection Risks during the use of Urban Surface Waters for Recreational Activities. In 20th International Symposium on Health-Related Water Microbiology (HRWM). 15-20 September 2019. Vienna, Austria.

      • Kirschner, A.K.T., 2019. Präsentation: Bakterien im Trinkwasser: Freunde oder Feinde?. In FORUM Wasserhygiene Kongress. 23.10.2019. Wien, Österreich.

      • Kirschner, A.K.T., Lepuschitz, S., Larvor, E., Granier, S.A., Pretzer, C., Mach, R.L., Farnleitner, A.H., Ruppitsch, W., Pleininger, S., Indra, A. & Baron, S., 2019. Poster: Antimicrobial resistance properties within a Vibrio cholerae non-O1/non-139 population from a large Austrian lake. In 8th Biennial International Conference on the Biology of Vibrios (ICBV). November 17-20, 2019. Montreal, Canada.

      • Rehm, C., Vierheilig, J., Kolm, C., Jakwerth, S., Hein, T., Farnleitner, A.H., Reischer, G.H. & Kirschner, A.K.T., 2019. Poster: Quantification and prediction of Vibrio cholerae nonO1/nonO139 in bathing waters. In 20th International Symposium on Health-Related Water Microbiology (HRWM). 15-20 September 2019. Vienna, Austria.

      • Rehm, C., Vierheilig, J., Kolm, C., Jakwerth, S., Pleininger, S., Indra, A., Hein, T., Farnleitner, A.H., Reischer, G.H. & Kirschner, A.K.T., 2019. Poster: Quantification and predication of Vibrio cholerae non-O1/non-O139 in bathing waters. In 8th Biennial International Conference on the Biology of Vibrios (ICBV). November 17-20, 2019. Montreal, Canada.

      • Savio, D., Karl, M., Stadler, P., Reischer, G.H., Demeter, K., Linke, R.B., Blaschke, A.P., Mach, R.L., Kirschner, A.K.T., Stadler, H. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2019. Poster: High-throughput 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing for the characterisation of the drinking water microbiome from an alpine karst spring. In 20th International Symposium on Health-Related Water Microbiology (HRWM). 15-20 September 2019. Vienna, Austria.

      • Savio, D., Vierheilig, J., Karl, M., Houdek, J., Jakwerth, S., Fiedler, F., Goll, T., Brandl, H., Kandler, W., Sommer, R., Kirschner, A.K.T. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2019. Poster: Combining flow cytometric and taxonomic analysis of bacterial community dynamics to study the biostability of drinking water resources – Part 2: High-throughput 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. In 20th International Symposium on Health-Related Water Microbiology (HRWM). 15-20 September 2019. Vienna, Austria.

      • Vierheilig, J., Savio, D., Jakwerth, S., Karl, M., Goll, T., Fiedler, F., Brandl, H., Kandler, W., Sommer, R., Farnleitner, A.H. & Kirschner, A.K.T., 2019. Poster: Combining flow cytometric and taxonomic analysis of bacterial community dynamics to study the biostability of drinking water resources – Part 1: Flow cytometric determination of microbial cell numbers. In 20th International Symposium on Health-Related Water Microbiology (HRWM). 15-20 September 2019. Vienna, Austria.

    • Journal Article

      • Cervero-Arago, S., Schrammel, B., Dietersdorfer, E., Sommer, R., Luck, C., Walochnik, J. & Kirschner, A.K.T., 2019. Viability and infectivity of viable but nonculturable Legionella pneumophila strains induced at high temperatures. Water Research, 158, S.268-279.

      • Herzig, A., Hatvani, I.G., Tanos, P., Blaschke, A.P., Sommer, R., Farnleitner, A.H. & Kirschner, A.K.T., 2019. Mikrobiologisch-hygienische Untersuchungen am Neusiedler See – von der Einzeluntersuchung zum Gesamtkonzept. Österreichische Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaft, 71(11-12), S.537-555.

      • Lepuschitz, S., Baron, S., Larvor, E., Granier, S.A., Pretzer, C., Mach, R.L., Farnleitner, A.H., Ruppitsch, W., Pleininger, S., Indra, A. & Kirschner, A.K.T., 2019. Phenotypic and Genotypic Antimicrobial Resistance Traits of Vibrio cholerae Non-O1/Non-O139 Isolated From a Large Austrian Lake Frequently Associated With Cases of Human Infection. Front Microbiol, 10, S.2600.

      • Martzy, R., Bica-Schroder, K., Palvolgyi, A.Mark, Kolm, C., Jakwerth, S., Kirschner, A.K.T., Sommer, R., Krska, R., Mach, R.L., Farnleitner, A.H. & Reischer, G.H., 2019. Simple lysis of bacterial cells for DNA-based diagnostics using hydrophilic ionic liquids. Scientific reports, 9, S.13994.

      • Savio, D., Stadler, P., Reischer, G.H., Demeter, K., Linke, R.B., Blaschke, A.P., Mach, R.L., Kirschner, A.K.T., Stadler, H. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2019. Spring Water of an Alpine Karst Aquifer Is Dominated by a Taxonomically Stable but Discharge-Responsive Bacterial Community. Frontiers in microbiology, 10, S.28.

      • van Driezum, I.H., Derx, J., Oudega, T.J., Zessner, M., Naus, F.L., Saracevic, E., Kirschner, A.K.T., Sommer, R., Farnleitner, A.H. & Blaschke, A.P., 2019. Spatiotemporal resolved sampling for the interpretation of micropollutant removal during riverbank filtration. The Science of the total environment, 649, S.212-223.

  4. 2018

    • Book Chapter

      • Farnleitner, A.H., Savio, D., Sommer, R., Reischer, G., Kirschner, A.K.T., Zerobin, W. & Stadler, H., 2018. Integrated strategy to guide health-related microbial quality management at alpine karstic drinking water resources. In W. White, Herman, J., Herman, E., & Rutigliano, M. (Hrsg.): Karst Groundwater Contamination and Public Health. Advances in Karst Science. Springer, Cham, S. 185-192.

    • Conference Paper

      • Demeter, K., Derx, J., Schijven, J., Sommer, R., Lindner, G., Zoufal-Hruza, C., Linke, R.B., Ixenmaier, S.K. & Kirschner, A.K.T., 2018. Presentation: The QMRAcatch Approach: Using Pathogen, Indicator and Source Tracking Data for Long-Term Water Safety Planning. In IWA World Water Conference & Exhibition. 16-21 September 2018. Tokyo, Japan.

      • Farnleitner, A.H., Savio, D., Jakwerth, S., Ixenmaier, S.K., Toth, E., Sommer, R., Linke, R.B., Mach, R.L., Kolarevic, S., Reischer, G.H. & Kirschner, A.K.T., 2018. Präsentation: Nachweis und Herkunftsbestimmung fäkaler Verschmutzungen im Zeitalter der molekular-biologischen Diagnostik am Beispiel der Donau. In 36. Jahrestagung der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Hygiene, Mikrobiologie und Präventivmedizin. 4.-7. Juni 2018. Graz, Österreich.

      • Glassner, T., Linke, R.B., Farnleitner, A.H., Waldhör, K. & Kirschner, A.K.T., 2018. Poster: Cultivation-independent diagnostics of microbial contamination of explanted knee and hip prostheses from sonication fluids. In 36. Jahrestagung der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Hygiene, Mikrobiologie und Präventivmedizin. 4.-7.6.2018. Graz, Österreich.

      • Horejs, J., Jakwerth, S., Sommer, R., Farnleitner, A.H. & Kirschner, A.K.T., 2018. Poster: Cell-based detection of abundant faecal indicator bacteria in water. In 36. Jahrestagung der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Hygiene, Mikrobiologie und Präventivmedizin. 4.-7.6.2018. Graz, Österreich.

      • Karl, M., Linke, R.B., Ixenmaier, S.K., Sommer, R., Kirschner, A.K.T., Farnleitner, A.H. & Savio, D., 2018. Poster: Vergleichende Analyse mitochondrialer und bakterieller Marker für die Herkunftsbestimmung fäkaler Verunreinigungen in Trinkwasserressourcen mittels quantitativer PCR. In 36. Jahrestagung der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Hygiene, Mikrobiologie und Präventivmedizin. 4.-7.6.2018. Graz, Österreich.

      • Kirschner, A.K.T. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2018. Präsentation: Online-Überwachung der bakteriellen Zellzahlen – Neue Methoden und Einsatzmöglichkeiten. In GWRS-Symposium der Österreichischen Vereinigung im Gas- und Wasserfach (ÖVGW). 7. November 2018. Wien, Österreich.

      • Kirschner, A.K.T., 2018. Präsentation: Die mikrobiologische Qualitätscharakteristik von Grund- und Trinkwasser: Zellzahlen, Aktivitäten, Biostabilität und genetische Charakterisierung. In GWRS-Symposium der Österreichischen Vereinigung im Gas- und Wasserfach (ÖVGW). 7. November 2018. Wien, Österreich.

      • Kirschner, A.K.T., van Driezum, I.H., Jakwerth, S., Lindner, G., Farnleitner, A.H., Sommer, R. & Blaschke, A.P., 2018. Präsentation: Räumlich-zeitliche Schwankungen der bakteriellen Biomasse und Aktivität im Grundwasser eines hochdynamischen Uferfiltrationssystems, das zur Trinkwassergewinnung genutzt wird. In 36. Jahrestagung der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Hygiene, Mikrobiologie und Präventivmedizin. 4.-7. Juni 2018. Graz, Österreich.

      • Lindner, G., Gemeiner, E., Knetsch, S., Lettl, A., Holzhammer, E., Kirschner, A.K.T., Farnleitner, A.H. & Sommer, R., 2018. Poster: Vermehrungspotenzial - Trinkwasser: Standardisierung und Qualitätssicherung. In 36. Jahrestagung der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Hygiene, Mikrobiologie und Präventivmedizin. 4.-7.6.2018. Graz, Österreich.

      • Martzy, R., Kolm, C., Mach, R.L., Krska, R., Jakwerth, S., Kirschner, A.K.T., Sommer, R., Farnleitner, A.H. & Reischer, G.H., 2018. Poster: A field-deployable concept for the rapid molecular detection of fecal contamination in water. In 36. Jahrestagung der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Hygiene, Mikrobiologie und Präventivmedizin. 4.-7.6.2018. Graz, Österreich.

    • Journal Article

      • Bliem, R., Reischer, G., Linke, R., Farnleitner, A.H. & Kirschner, A.K.T., 2018. Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Vibrio cholerae in Turbid Alkaline Lakes as Determined by Quantitative PCR. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 84.

      • Frick, C., Vierheilig, J., Linke, R., Savio, D., Zornig, H., Antensteiner, R., Baumgartner, C., Bucher, C., Blaschke, A.P., Derx, J., Kirschner, A.K.T., Ryzinska-Paier, G., Mayer, R., Seidl, D., Nadiotis-Tsaka, T., Sommer, R. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2018. Poikilothermic Animals as a Previously Unrecognized Source of Fecal Indicator Bacteria in a Backwater Ecosystem of a Large River. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 84.

      • Hatvani, I.G., Kirschner, A.K.T., Farnleitner, A.H., Tanos, P. & Herzig, A., 2018. Hotspots and main drivers of fecal pollution in Neusiedler See, a large shallow lake in Central Europe. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25, S.28884-28898.

      • Kirschner, A.K.T., Pleininger, S., Jakwerth, S., Rehak, S., Farnleitner, A.H., Huhulescu, S. & Indra, A., 2018. Application of three different methods to determine the prevalence, the abundance and the environmental drivers of culturable Vibrio cholerae in fresh and brackish bathing waters. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 125, S.1186-1198.

      • Mayer, R., Karl, M., Linke, R., Kirschner, A.K.T., Reischer, G., Sommer, R., Zessner, M., Savio, D. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2018. Analytik fäkaler mikrobiologischer Verunreinigungen im Zeitalter der molekularbiologischen Diagnostik. Wiener Mitteilungen , 247, S.47-54.

      • Savio, D., Stadler, P., Reischer, G.H., Kirschner, A.K.T., Demeter, K., Linke, R., Blaschke, A.P., Sommer, R., Szewzyk, U., Wilhartitz, I.C., Mach, R.L., Stadler, H. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2018. Opening the black box of spring water microbiology from alpine karst aquifers to support proactive drinking water resource management. WIREs Water, 5, S.e1282.

      • van Driezum, I.H., Chik, A.H.S., Jakwerth, S., Lindner, G., Farnleitner, A.H., Sommer, R., Blaschke, A.P. & Kirschner, A.K.T., 2018. Spatiotemporal analysis of bacterial biomass and activity to understand surface and groundwater interactions in a highly dynamic riverbank filtration system. Science of the Total Environment, 627, S.450-461.

  5. 2017

    • Journal Article

      • Kirschner, A.K.T., Reischer, G.H., Jakwerth, S., Savio, D., Ixenmaier, S., Toth, E., Sommer, R., Mach, R.L., Linke, R., Eiler, A., Kolarevic, S. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2017. Multiparametric monitoring of microbial faecal pollution reveals the dominance of human contamination along the whole Danube River. Water Research, 124, S.543-555.

      • Kittinger, C., Kirschner, A.K.T., Lipp, M., Baumert, R., Mascher, F., Farnleitner, A.H. & Zarfel, G.E., 2017. Antibiotic Resistance of Acinetobacter spp. Isolates from the River Danube: Susceptibility Stays High. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15.

      • van Driezum, I.H., Derx, J., Saracevic, E., Kirschner, A.K.T., Sommer, R., Farnleitner, A.H. & Blaschke, A.P., 2017. Does Pumping Volume Affect the Concentration of Micropollutants in Groundwater Samples?. Groundwater Monitoring & Remediation, 37, S.82-88.

      • Zibuschka, F., Kirschner, A.K.T., Frick, C., Lindner, G., Reischer, G., Lendenfeld, T., Vogl, W., Schauer, U. & Farnleitner, A.H., 2017. Mikrobiologie und Wasser - Teil 1: Übersicht zu den methodischen Möglichkeiten der Analyse. ÖWAV-Arbeitsbehelft. Österreichischer Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaftsverband (ÖWAV), 52.

Research Projects

  • Dissertation project – Health relevance of Vibrio cholerae in bathing waters

    Assessing the public health relevance of Vibrio cholerae in bathing waters in Lower Austria: distribution, abundance, diversity and potential pathogenicity

    • Project Number: SC19-006
    • Project Lead: Alexander Kirschner, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division Water Quality and Health
    • Duration: 36 months starting from 01.04.2020

    Background

    Vibrio cholerae is a natural inhabitant of aquatic ecosystems and the causative agent of the devastating disease cholera. Cholera is caused by toxigenic strains belonging to the serogroups O1 and O139. However nontoxigenic V.cholerae (NTVC) cause several other kinds of infections with potential fatal outcome. In the past 20 years, NTVC infections have been significantly increasing in Europe in association with global warming. In Lower Austria, two extreme cases occurred for the first time in 2015. Both cases were associated with bathing activities during an extreme summer heatwave. To date, the decisive factors controlling NTVC occurrence in inland bathing waters are not clear.
    Such information and the availability of reliable NTVC quantification methods are prerequisite to enable prediction models and early warning systems of NTVC occurrence. Besides cultivation on microbiological media, molecular and cell-based methods have been developed. So far, cell-based detection combining fluorescence labelling (FISH) and solid phase cytometry (SPC) proved most successful for NTVC quantification. However, FISH/SPC does not differentiate V.cholerae from closely related species, and it is extremely labor intensive and expensive. In this project, an approach based on alternative molecular recognition molecules –APTAMERS– are proposed. Aptamers are short oligonucleotides that bind their target with high selectivity and affinity. They have proven equally efficient as antibodies in many applications. Once an aptamer is identified, unlimited amounts can be produced at low costs. To date, however, there are no aptamers available for V.cholerae.
    Two main goals shall be achieved. First, NTVC abundance shall be comprehensively monitored with state-of-the-art methods along environmental and spatiotemporal gradients in representative bathing waters, and second, a new cutting-edge aptamer technology shall be developed for tailored quantification of NTVC and V.cholerae O1/O139. Prediction models of NTVC abundance in bathing waters shall be delivered as tools for risk assessment and easy protocols for culture-independent quantification of V.cholerae. This will significantly contribute to improved disease preparedness and public health concerning NTVC in bathing waters and toxigenic V.cholerae in water resources. The resulting aptamer products, applications and intellectual property may be exploited in follow-up translational projects, in form of spin-off companies or transfer to local third-party enterprises. The proposal is directly contributing to the prioritised research area “Intelligent Indication Systems and Diagnostics” within the recent FTI strategy for Lower Austria. Sustainable collaborations will be stimulated between the project partners within the Interuniversity Cooperation Centre Water & Health, a research centre to pioneer cutting edge water quality research. Thus, the project will contribute in a sustainable manner to the welfare of Lower Austria.

  • RIVAR – Human-associated antibiotic resistance in rivers of Lower Austria

    A quantitative concept to study human-derived antibiotic resistance in rivers along the human wastewater path

    • Project Number: LSC18-007
    • Project Lead: Alexander Kirschner, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division Water Quality and Health
    • Project Partner: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna / Department of Agrobiotechnology, IFA-Tulln, Medical University Graz, Lower Austrian Government / Department of Water, Medical University of Vienna / Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology
    • Duration: 36 months starting from 01.03.2020

    Background

    The rise in antimicrobial resistances is a global threat to human health. Apart from hospitals, where multi-resistant bacteria pose an acute problem, the spread of human-derived antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and resistance genes (ARG) from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) into river ecosystems is of growing concern as river water is used for a variety of purposes (drinking water production, recreation, irrigation). Although an increasing number of studies have been published in recent years demonstrating the presence of human-derived ARB and ARG in rivers, no comprehensive quantitative concept exists that describes and explains the distribution patterns, and driving factors of human-derived ARB and ARG in these environments. For this project, a new quantitative concept was developed to study the distribution patterns, propagation pathways and driving factors of human-derived ARB and ARG along four rivers in Lower Austria exhibiting gradients in river size, land use, fecal pollution, hospital wastewater and potential co-selection factors. The following hypotheses shall be tested: (1) In water, human-derived ARB and ARG abundances are coupled to the extent of fecal pollution from WWTPs and to the extent of wastewater input from hospitals. This coupling is independent from the longitudinal development of the river. (2) In biofilms, human-derived ARB and ARG abundances can be uncoupled from the extent of fecal pollution and from hospital wastewater input. In the presence of specific ecological selection factors such as metals or pesticides, anamplification of ARB and ARG occurs. The new concept is based on the quantification of human-derived ARB and ARG in specific bacterial targets, determined in water and biofilms by a combined cultivation and DNA-based approach. This information will be linked with quantitative data on the extent and sources of fecal pollution (following the human wastewater path) and with a comprehensive assessment of the environmental conditions. This study will stimulate new ideas to understand and manage microbial water quality and antibiotic resistance in rivers.
    At the global level, the proposal is directly addressing the fundamental requirements of the research agenda defined for water, sanitation and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of the WHO Global Action Plan for AMR. At the European level it directly addresses the concrete action plan to close knowledge gaps on AMR within the EU AMR Action Plan. At the local level, it directly contributes to the prioritised research area “Organic trace substances” within the “Water” topic of the recent FTI strategy for Lower Austria. Sustainable collaborations will be stimulated between the project partners of the ICC Water & Health at KL Krems, of the department IFA-Tulln of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna and of the Medical University Graz. By this, the project will contribute in a sustainable manner to the welfare of Lower Austria and beyond.

  • Whole-Danube-River AMR – Fecal pathways of antibiotic resistance spread along the entire Danube River

    Fecal pathways of antibiotic resistance spread along the entire Danube River

    • Project Number: P32464-B
    • Project Lead: Alexander Kirschner, Medical University of Vienna / Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology
    • Project Partner: Medical University Graz, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division Water Quality and Health
    • Duration: 48 months starting from 11.06.2019
  • Fecal Pollution River Danube

    Investigating the status quo on fecal pollution for the section of the River Danube in Lower Austria

    • Project Number: WA2-A-226/050-2019
    • Project Lead: Alexander Kirschner, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division Water Quality and Health
    • Project Partner: Medical University of Vienna / Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology, Technische Universität Wien
    • Duration: 30 months starting from 29.03.2019

    Background

    In recent months, various media and the population have repeatedly speculated that the Danube navigation would lead to a significant fecal burden on the Danube. However, there are no current and secured data series on the level of fecal pollution over a representative period. The research concept is based on the spatio-temporal high-resolution analysis of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) for the Lower Austrian section of the Danube, as well as a first assessment of the FIB emission potentials for the Danube navigation with a comparison to municipal sources. In addition, a basic chemo-physical characterization of the water quality and a genetic analysis to determine the sources of fecal pollution for selected locations will be made. Along the Lower Austrian Danube, 11 selected transects (cross sections) will be characterized during the course of the year. In addition, high-resolution time series at neuralgic Danube sites will be surveyed using automated sampling technology. In order to support an estimation of the emission potential of Danube navigation, also waster water sampled directly from the vessels will be examined. All common types of ships or sewage are considered. The study will be carried out in close cooperation between the State of Lower Austria (Gruppe Wasser) and the Karl Landsteiner Private University for Health Sciences, Department of Water Quality and Health, with the support of the ICC Water & Health as partner.

  • VIBRIO – Quantification and prediction of Vibrio cholerae bacteria in bathing waters

    An innovative strategy for the quantification and prediction of toxigenic and non-toxigenic Vibrio cholerae in environmental water resources

    • Project Number: LSC17-007
    • Project Lead: Alexander Kirschner, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division Water Quality and Health
    • Project Partner: Technische Universität Wien / IFA Tulln Working Group Molecular Diagnostics, Lower Austrian Government / Department of Environmental Hygiene, Medical University of Vienna / Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology
    • Duration: 48 months starting from 01.01.2019

    Background

    Vibrio cholerae is a natural inhabitant of aquatic ecosystems and the causative agent of the devastating disease cholera. Cholera is caused by toxigenic strains belonging to the serogroups O1 and O139. However nontoxigenic V.cholerae (NTVC) cause several other kinds of infections with potential fatal outcome. In the past 20 years, NTVC infections have been significantly increasing in Europe in association with global warming. In Lower Austria, two extreme cases occurred for the first time in 2015. Both cases were associated with bathing activities during an extreme summer heatwave. To date, the decisive factors controlling NTVC occurrence in inland bathing waters are not clear.
    Such information and the availability of reliable NTVC quantification methods are prerequisite to enable prediction models and early warning systems of NTVC occurrence. Besides cultivation on microbiological media, molecular and cell-based methods have been developed. So far, cell-based detection combining fluorescence labelling (FISH) and solid phase cytometry (SPC) proved most successful for NTVC quantification. However, FISH/SPC does not differentiate V.cholerae from closely related species, and it is extremely labor intensive and expensive. In this project, an approach based on alternative molecular recognition molecules –APTAMERS– are proposed. Aptamers are short oligonucleotides that bind their target with high selectivity and affinity. They have proven equally efficient as antibodies in many applications. Once an aptamer is identified, unlimited amounts can be produced at low costs. To date, however, there are no aptamers available for V.cholerae.
    Two main goals shall be achieved. First, NTVC abundance shall be comprehensively monitored with state-of-the-art methods along environmental and spatiotemporal gradients in representative bathing waters, and second, a new cutting-edge aptamer technology shall be developed for tailored quantification of NTVC and V.cholerae O1/O139. Prediction models of NTVC abundance in bathing waters shall be delivered as tools for risk assessment and easy protocols for culture-independent quantification of V.cholerae. This will significantly contribute to improved disease preparedness and public health concerning NTVC in bathing waters and toxigenic V.cholerae in water resources. The resulting aptamer products, applications and intellectual property may be exploited in follow-up translational projects, in form of spin-off companies or transfer to local third-party enterprises. The proposal is directly contributing to the prioritised research area “Intelligent Indication Systems and Diagnostics” within the recent FTI strategy for Lower Austria. Sustainable collaborations will be stimulated between the project partners within the Interuniversity Cooperation Centre Water & Health, a research centre to pioneer cutting edge water quality research. Thus, the project will contribute in a sustainable manner to the welfare of Lower Austria.

Events

  1. 13 Nov

    study INFO DAY

    13. November 2021, 10:00 - 15:00
    Online Event
  2. 02 Jun
  3. 18 May

    ÖH Elections at KL University

    18. May 2021, 11:30 - 20. May 2021, 10:30
    Karl Landsteiner Privatuniversität, Trakt X / Besprechungsraum EG