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An operational method for the real-time monitoring of E. coli numbers in bathing waters
Lebaron, P.; Henry, A.; Lepeuple, A.S.; Pena, G.; Servais, P. (2005). An operational method for the real-time monitoring of E. coli numbers in bathing waters. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 50(6): 652-659. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2005.01.016
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 280013 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Escherichia coli Castellani & Chalmers, 1919 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    E. coli; bathing waters; real-time monitoring

Authors  Top 
  • Lebaron, P.
  • Henry, A.
  • Lepeuple, A.S.
  • Pena, G.
  • Servais, P., more

Abstract
    The aim of this study was to investigate the potential application of the ß-d-glucuronidase (GLUase) activity measurement for the routine detection and quantification of E. coli in marine bathing waters. GLUase activity was measured as the rate of hydrolysis of 4-methylumbelliferyl-ß-d-glucuronide. Culturable E. coli were quantified by the most probable number (MPN) microplate method. Both methods were applied to a large set of seawater samples. Significant correlation was found between the log of GLUase activity and the log of culturable E. coli. The mean coefficient of variation (CV) of the GLUase activity was less than 15% at concentrations around the current standards of International regulations whereas the CV of the microplate method was around 30%. When samples were stored at 4 °C and 20 °C, the mean CV of the GLUase activity remained below 15% up to 6 hours after sample collection whereas the range of variation of the microplate method varied between 10 and 50%. We concluded that the GLUase activity is an operational, reproducible, simple, very rapid and low cost method for the real-time enumeration of E. coli in bathing waters and should be preferred to the microplate method. The GLUase activity method should be routinely applied to the rapid enumeration of E. coli in recreational waters and recommendations for its application were suggested to water quality managers.

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