Journal article

Evaluation of Techniques for Measuring Microbial Hazards in Bathing Waters: A Comparative Study

Christelle Schang, Rebekah Henry, Peter A Kolotelo, Toby Prosser, Nick Crosbie, Trish Grant, Darren Cottam, Peter O'Brien, Scott Coutts, Ana Deletic, David T McCarthy

PLoS One | PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE | Published : 2016

Abstract

Recreational water quality is commonly monitored by means of culture based faecal indicator organism (FIOs) assays. However, these methods are costly and time-consuming; a serious disadvantage when combined with issues such as non-specificity and user bias. New culture and molecular methods have been developed to counter these drawbacks. This study compared industry-standard IDEXX methods (Colilert and Enterolert) with three alternative approaches: 1) TECTA™ system for E. coli and enterococci; 2) US EPA's 1611 method (qPCR based enterococci enumeration); and 3) Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). Water samples (233) were collected from riverine, estuarine and marine environments over the 2014-..

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Grants

Awarded by Australian Research Council Linkage Program


Funding Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the funding, data contribution, and support of Melbourne Water, the Environment Protection Authority (Victoria), Mornington Peninsula Shire, and the Australian Research Council Linkage Program (LP120100718). Melbourne Water provided financial support in the form of equipment budget, research materials, and sample analysis. Melbourne Water initially helped with the study design, provided assistance for the collection of samples, and helped prepare this manuscript. Melbourne Water involvement in this study did not influence the authors' decision to publish. Micromon did not provide any financial support for this research (other than in-kind). Micromon were responsible for the NGS sample processing and analysis provided the information necessary in the Methods section of this manuscript and provided the NGS data. Micromon did not have any additional role and did not influence the authors' decision to publish. The specific roles of these authors are also articulated in the "authors contributions" section in the online submission.