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Evaluation of an inexpensive growth medium for direct detection of Escherichia coli in temperate and sub-tropical waters

Bain, R, Woodall, C, Elliott, J, Arnold, B, Tung, R, Morley, R, du Preez, M, Bartram, J, Davis, A, Gundry, S and Pedley, S (2015) Evaluation of an inexpensive growth medium for direct detection of Escherichia coli in temperate and sub-tropical waters PLoS One, 10 (10), e0140997.

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Abstract

The cost and complexity of traditional methods for the detection of faecal indicator bacteria, including E. coli, hinder widespread monitoring of drinking water quality, especially in lowincome countries and outside controlled laboratory settings. In these settings the problem is exacerbated by the lack of inexpensive media for the detection of E. coli in drinking water. We developed a new low-cost growth medium, aquatest (AT), and validated its use for the direct detection of E. coli in temperate and sub-tropical drinking waters using IDEXX QuantiTray1. AT was compared with IDEXX Colilert-181 and either EC-MUG or MLSB for detecting low levels of E. coli from water samples from temperate (n = 140; Bristol, UK) and subtropical regions (n = 50, Pretoria/Tshwane, South Africa). Confirmatory testing (n = 418 and 588, respectively) and the comparison of quantitative results were used to assess performance. Sensitivity of AT was higher than Colilert-181 for water samples in the UK [98.0% vs. 86.9%; p<0.0001] and South Africa [99.5% vs. 93.2%; p = 0.0030]. There was no significant difference in specificity, which was high for both media (>95% in both settings). Quantitative results were comparable and within expected limits. AT is reliable and accurate for the detection of E. coli in temperate and subtropical drinking water. The composition of the new medium is reported herein and can be used freely.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Civil and Environmental Engineering
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Bain, RUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Woodall, CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Elliott, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Arnold, BUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Tung, RUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Morley, RUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
du Preez, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Bartram, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Davis, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gundry, SUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Pedley, SUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 30 November 2015
Identification Number : 10.1371/journal.pone.0140997
Additional Information : © 2015 Bain et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 03 Feb 2016 13:41
Last Modified : 03 Feb 2016 13:41
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/809888

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