2011 Progress Report: Rapidly Measured Indicators of Waterborne PathogensEPA Grant Number: R834789
Title: Rapidly Measured Indicators of Waterborne Pathogens
Investigators: Dorevitch, Samuel , Bushon, Rebecca N , Cali, Salvatore , Lin, King-Teh , Liu, Li , Scheff, Peter
Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago , MycoMetrics , USGS Biological Resources Division
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: February 1, 2011 through January 31, 2014 (Extended to January 31, 2015)
Project Period Covered by this Report: February 1, 2011 through January 31,2012
Project Amount: $499,831
RFA: Exploring Linkages Between Health Outcomes and Environmental Hazards, Exposures, and Interventions for Public Health Tracking and Risk Management (2009) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Human Health , Health
In the first year of this study, water samples were collected from Lake Michigan beaches in Chicago. The water samples were tested for E. coli bacteria using the culture method commonly used for monitoring at Great Lakes beaches. We also tested water samples using new molecular methods that produce results within hours, allowing beach managers to make decisions with more up-to-date information. Results of our analyses suggest that one molecular method – quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) – generates precise and accurate information within hours. The results of the qPCR testing would result in similar beach management decisions as the culture method, but the results would be available within hours rather than the following day.
In Year 2 of this research, we will compare the E. coli culture method typically used at beaches to the qPCR method as a predictor of the presence of pathogens in recreational waters.