Classical methods depend on cultivation steps while emerging techniques rely on detecting genetic signals from nucleic acid extracted from water samples.
Regardless of the method, accurate detection is important to public health officials and monitoring agencies. In this article, we review some of the methods used to detect and quantify indicators of microbial water quality and human fecal pathogens as well as other issues relevant to water fecal pollution.
Waterborne Pathogens and Human Health Research
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Jorge W. Eugene W. Read the full text.
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We measured indicator bacteria and pathogens at stream sites above and below major summer livestock regions in the Sierra Nevada in order to evaluate correlations between microbial water quality standards and pathogens. From April through October of and , we collected monthly samples at all 19 stream locations. In , samples were transported to UC Davis for immediate analysis for fecal coliform and indicator E.
We found a strong correlation between indicator E. However, the regulatory assumption that fecal coliforms and indicator E. There was no significant correlation between indicator bacteria and pathogens.
Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens (2004)
The probability of pathogen occurrence was essentially independent of the EPA recommended indicator E. Pathogens were found when the standard was met and when it was exceeded. Salmonella was more prevalent above these grazed meadows. Pathogenic E. Overall, prevalence and concentration of these pathogens were low.
Waterborne Pathogens: Monitoring Streams to Protect Human Health
These results indicate that water quality regulation and monitoring based upon indicator bacteria may lead to unnecessary management restrictions. Alternatively, regulation based solely upon indicator bacteria may lead to a false sense of human health protection.
Given the importance of this topic, consideration should be given to water quality monitoring and standards targeting specific microbial pathogens of concern. Recreational: Water Quality Criteria.
Rangeland Streams: Water Quality Concerns.