E. coli and enterococci are commonly used to indicate water quality and associated health risks in the US, but current methods to determine the densities of these bacteria in samples rely on cell culture methods that can take up to 23 hours to complete.
In this hot paper Samuel Dorevitch, University of Illinois, and colleagues have evaluated the potential of qPCR for determining levels of the bacteria. The speed at which qPCR is completed means that samples can be turned around within a day – which would be invaluable for beach managers to reduce exposure of the public to waterborne pathogens.
For full details of this extensive study download the article – it’s currently free to access for 4 weeks:
A comparison of rapid and conventional measures of indicator bacteria as predictors of waterborne protozoan pathogen presence and density
Samuel Dorevitch, Mary Doi, Fu-Chih Hsu, King-Teh Lin, Jennifer D. Roberts, Li C. Liu, Ross Gladding, Ember Vannoy, Hong Li, Margit Javor and Peter A. Scheff
J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 2427-2435