Author(s): He JW, Jiang S
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Pathogenic bacteria and enteric viruses can be introduced into the environment via human waste discharge. Methods for rapid detection and quantification of human viruses and fecal indicator bacteria in water are urgently needed to prevent human exposure to pathogens through drinking and recreational waters. Here we describe the development of two real-time PCR methods to detect and quantify human adenoviruses and enterococci in environmental waters. For real-time quantification of enterococci, a set of primers and a probe targeting the 23S rRNA gene were used. The standard curve generated using Enterococcus faecalis genomic DNA was linear over a 7-log-dilution series. Serial dilutions of E. faecalis suspensions resulted in a lower limit of detection (LLD) of 5 CFU/reaction. To develop real-time PCR for adenoviruses, degenerate primers and a Taqman probe targeting a 163-bp region of the adenovirus hexon gene were designed to specifically amplify 14 different serotypes of human adenoviruses, including enteric adenovirus serotype 40 and 41. The standard curve generated was linear over a 5-log-dilution series, and the LLD was 100 PFU/reaction using serial dilutions of purified adenoviral particles of serotype 40. Both methods were optimized to be applicable to environmental samples. The real-time PCR methods showed a greater sensitivity in detection of adenoviruses in sewage samples than the viral plaque assay and in detection of enterococci in coastal waters than the bacterial culture method. However, enterococcus real-time PCR overestimated the number of bacteria in chlorinated sewage in comparison with the bacterial culture method. Overall, the ability via real-time PCR to detect enterococci and adenoviruses rapidly and quantitatively in the various environmental samples represents a considerable advancement and a great potential for environmental applications.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology