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Detection of quantification of Mycobacterium avium complex organisms in drinking water
PFALLER, S. L. Detection of quantification of Mycobacterium avium complex organisms in drinking water. Presented at International Society for Exposure Science, Minneapolis, MN, November 01 - 05, 2009.
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The Mycobacterium avium Complex (MAC) includes the species M. avium (MA), M. intracellulare (MI), and others. MAC are listed on the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Contaminant Candidate List 2 (CCL2) due to their association with human disease and occurrence in public drinking water systems. Current methods for detecting MAC organisms in drinking water are culture-based. However evidence suggests that culture-based methods have severe limitations including long incubation periods, loss of target due to overgrowth of background organisms, up to 70% loss of target due to harsh decontamination techniques, and inability to recover MAC in a viable-but-non-culturable state. Because of these drawbacks and the need for more accurate and comprehensive occurrence data, we have developed real-time QPCR assays for detection and quantification of MA, MI, and MA subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) in drinking water. Real-time QPCR assays can be used in combination with culture-based methods in order to confirm viability of MAC in samples, as well as provide isolates for further characterization. We are currently evaluating these methods for use on actual drinking water samples in order to generate a more complete understanding of MAC occurrence in drinking water.