BCS Laboratories Inc.

Miami, FL, United States

BCS Laboratories Inc.

Miami, FL, United States
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Abdelzaher A.M.,University of Miami | Wright M.E.,University of Miami | Ortega C.,University of Miami | Solo-Gabriele H.M.,University of Miami | And 20 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2010

Swimming in ocean water, including ocean water at beaches not Impacted by known point sources of pollution, is an increasing health concern. This study was an initial evaluation of the presence of indicator microbes and pathogens and the association among the Indicator microbes, pathogens, and environmental conditions at a subtropical, recreational marine beach in south Florida impacted by non-point sources of pollution. Twelve water and eight sand samples were collected during four sampling events at high or low tide under elevated or reduced solar insolation conditions. The analyses performed included analyses of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) (fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, enterococcl, and Clostridium perfringens), human-associated microbial source tracking (MST) markers (human polyomaviruses [HPyVs] and Enterococcus faecium esp gene), and pathogens (Vibrio vulnificus, Staphylococcus aureus, enterovirus, norovirus, hepatitis A virus, Cryptosporidium spp., and Giardia spp.). The enterococcus concentrations in water and sand determined by quantitative PCR were greater than the concentrations determined by membrane filtration measurement. The FIB concentrations in water were below the recreational water quality standards for three of the four sampling events, when pathogens and MST markers were also generally undetectable. The FIB levels exceeded regulatory guidelines during one event, and this was accompanied by detection of HPyVs and pathogens, including detection of the autochthonous bacterium V. vulnificus in sand and water, detection of the allochthonous protozoans Giardia spp. in water, and detection of Cryptosporidium spp. in sand samples. The elevated microbial levels were detected at high tide and under low-solar-insolation conditions. Additional sampling should be conducted to further explore the relationships between tidal and solar insolation conditions and between indicator microbes and pathogens in subtropical recreational marine waters impacted by non-point source pollution. Copyright © 2010, American Society ror Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Shibata T.,University of Miami | Shibata T.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Shibata T.,Northern Illinois University | Solo-Gabriele H.M.,University of Miami | And 20 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2010

The objectives of this work were to compare enterococci (ENT) measurements based on the membrane filter, ENT(MF) with alternatives that can provide faster results including alternative enterococci methods (e.g., chromogenic substrate (CS), and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)), and results from regression models based upon environmental parameters that can be measured in real-time. ENT(MF) were also compared to source tracking markers (Staphylococcus aureus, Bacteroidales human and dog markers, and Catellicoccus gull marker) in an effort to interpret the variability of the signal. Results showed that concentrations of enterococci based upon MF (<2 to 3320 CFU/100 mL) were significantly different from the CS and qPCR methods (p < 0.01). The correlations between MF and CS (r) 0.58, p < 0.01) were stronger than between MF and qPCR (r ≤ 0.36, p < 0.01). Enterococci levels by MF, CS, and qPCR methods were positively correlated with turbidity and tidal height. Enterococci by MF and CS were also inversely correlated with solar radiation but enterococci by qPCR was not. The regression model based on environmental variables provided fair qualitative predictions of enterococci by MF in real-time, for daily geometric mean levels, but not for individual samples. Overall, ENT(MF) was not significantly correlated with source tracking markers with the exception of samples collected during one storm event. The inability of the regression model to predict ENT(MF) levels for individual samples is likely due to the different sources of ENT impacting the beach at any given time, making it particularly difficult to to predict short-term variability of ENT(MF) for environmental parameters. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Alfredo Bonilla J.,University of Miami | Alfredo Bonilla J.,University of Wisconsin - River Falls | Bonilla T.D.,University of Miami | Bonilla T.D.,3M | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2015

Large sample volumes are traditionally required for the analysis of waterborne pathogens. The need for large volumes greatly limits the number of samples that can be processed. The aims of this study were to compare extraction and detection procedures for quantifying protozoan parasites and viruses from small volumes of marine water. The intent was to evaluate a logistically simpler method of sample collection and processing that would facilitate direct pathogen measures as part of routine monitoring programs. Samples were collected simultaneously using a bilayer device with protozoa capture by size (top filter) and viruses capture by charge (bottom filter). Protozoan detection technologies utilized for recovery of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia spp. were qPCR and the more traditional immunomagnetic separation—IFA-microscopy, while virus (poliovirus) detection was based upon qPCR versus plaque assay. Filters were eluted using reagents consistent with the downstream detection technologies. Results showed higher mean recoveries using traditional detection methods over qPCR for Cryptosporidium (91% vs. 45%) and poliovirus (67%vs. 55%) whereas for Giardia the qPCR-based methods were characterized by higher mean recoveries (41% vs. 28%). Overall mean recoveries are considered high for all detection technologies. Results suggest that simultaneous filtration may be suitable for isolating different classes of pathogens from small marine water volumes. More research is needed to evaluate the suitability of this method for detecting pathogens at low ambient concentration levels. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

PubMed | BCS Laboratories Inc., University of South Florida and Florida College
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2015

To preserve environmental and human health, improved treatment processes are needed to reduce nutrients, microbes, and emerging chemical contaminants from domestic wastewater prior to discharge into the environment. Electrocoagulation (EC) treatment is increasingly used to treat industrial wastewater; however, this technology has not yet been thoroughly assessed for its potential to reduce concentrations of nutrients, a variety of microbial surrogates, and personal care products found in domestic wastewater. This investigations objective was to determine the efficiency of a benchtop EC unit with aluminum sacrificial electrodes to reduce concentrations of the aforementioned biological and chemical pollutants from raw and tertiary-treated domestic wastewater. EC treatment resulted in significant reductions (p < 0.05, = 0.05) in phosphate, all microbial surrogates, and several personal care products from raw and tertiary-treated domestic wastewater. When wastewater was augmented with microbial surrogates representing bacterial, viral, and protozoan pathogens to measure the extent of reduction, EC treatment resulted in up to 7-log10 reduction of microbial surrogates. Future pilot and full-scale investigations are needed to optimize EC treatment for the following: reducing nitrogen species, personal care products, and energy consumption; elucidating the mechanisms behind microbial reductions; and performing life cycle analyses to determine the appropriateness of implementation.

Shah A.H.,University of Miami | Abdelzaher A.M.,University of Miami | Phillips M.,University of Miami | Hernandez R.,University of Miami | And 21 more authors.
Journal of Applied Microbiology | Year: 2011

Aims: Research into the relationship between pathogens, faecal indicator microbes and environmental factors in beach sand has been limited, yet vital to the understanding of the microbial relationship between sand and the water column and to the improvement of criteria for better human health protection at beaches. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the presence and distribution of pathogens in various zones of beach sand (subtidal, intertidal and supratidal) and to assess their relationship with environmental parameters and indicator microbes at a non-point source subtropical marine beach. Methods and Results: In this exploratory study in subtropical Miami (Florida, USA), beach sand samples were collected and analysed over the course of 6days for several pathogens, microbial source tracking markers and indicator microbes. An inverse correlation between moisture content and most indicator microbes was found. Significant associations were identified between some indicator microbes and pathogens (such as nematode larvae and yeasts in the genus Candida), which are from classes of microbes that are rarely evaluated in the context of recreational beach use. Conclusions: Results indicate that indicator microbes may predict the presence of some of the pathogens, in particular helminthes, yeasts and the bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus including methicillin-resistant forms. Indicator microbes may thus be useful for monitoring beach sand and water quality at non-point source beaches. Significance and Impact of the Study: The presence of both indicator microbes and pathogens in beach sand provides one possible explanation for human health effects reported at non-point sources beaches. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2011 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

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