Rapid molecular methods such as quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) allow for rapid response to mitigate waterborne disease outbreaks within hours and identify the sources of contamination accurately. United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has just recently published a new qPCR method to target for Escherichia coli (a fecal indicator bacterium to test for sewage pollution in water). Current recreational water quality criteria recommend states to adopt qPCR as a rapid method for routine monitoring. Georgia Southern University recently participated in a nation-wide study directed by the USEPA to assess this new method. The results of the study proposed a more standardized protocol for new laboratories adopting this method at the local level, and provide guidance on the preparation, storage, and handling of the samples, reference and control materials.
“Evaluation of multiple laboratory performance and variability in analysis of recreational freshwaters by a rapid Escherichia coli qPCR method (Draft Method C)” was recently published in the Water Research journal.
Dr. Asli Aslan, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health was a co-author of this study.Tags: Friday Letter Submission