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Liang L.,National University of Singapore | Goh S.G.,National University of Singapore | Vergara G.G.R.V.,National University of Singapore | Fang H.M.,National University of Singapore | And 8 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2015

The suitability of traditional microbial indicators (i.e., Escherichia coli and enterococci) has been challenged due to the lack of correlation with pathogens and evidence of possible regrowth in the natural environment. In this study, the relationships between alternative microbial indicators of potential human fecal contamination (Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Methanobrevibacter smithii, human polyomaviruses [HPyVs], and F+ and somatic coliphages) and pathogens (Salmonella spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, rotavirus, astrovirus, norovirus GI, norovirus GII, and adenovirus) were compared with those of traditional microbial indicators, as well as environmental parameters (temperature, conductivity, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, total organic carbon, total suspended solids, turbidity, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus). Water samples were collected from surface waters of urban catchments in Singapore. Salmonella and P. aeruginosa had significant positive correlations with most of the microbial indicators, especially E. coli and enterococci. Norovirus GII showed moderately strong positive correlations with most of the microbial indicators, except for HPyVs and coliphages. In general, high geometric means and significant correlations between human-specific markers and pathogens suggest the possibility of sewage contamination in some areas. The simultaneous detection of human-specific markers (i.e., B. thetaiotaomicron, M. smithii, and HPyVs) with E. coli and enterococcus supports the likelihood of recent fecal contamination, since the human-specific markers are unable to regrow in natural surface waters. Multiple-linear-regression results further confirm that the inclusion of M. smithii and HPyVs, together with traditional indicators, would better predict the occurrence of pathogens. Further study is needed to determine the applicability of such models to different geographical locations and environmental conditions. © 2015, American Society for Microbiology.

Ma K.,Optiqua Technologies Pte. Ltd | Ekblad T.,Optiqua Technologies Pte. Ltd | Koerkamp M.K.,Optisense | Kelderman H.,Optisense | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2015

An inhibition assay for detection of Bisphenol A (BPA) in treated water has been developed and validated for the MiniLab™ system from Optiqua Technologies. This biosensor-based analytical system can be used for detection of specific contaminants in solution. The system uses an integrated optic Mach-Zehnder interferometer chip that is functionalised with a biochemical interface layer. The sensor chip surface was first coated with aminodextran which formed a hydrophilic layer suitable for further modification. 4,4-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl) valeric acid (BVA), which is a structural analogue of BPA, was then successfully coupled to the aminodextran layer. This surface chemistry was used in a qualitative inhibition assay format for the selective detection of the presence of BPA. The assay was developed and optimised using a polyclonal anti-BPA antibody. Samples from 12 different water matrices of Singapore were spiked with known amounts of BPA and tested with the MiniLab™ system. The working range of the BPA inhibition assay is from 0.5 to 5 µg/L. Intra- and inter-assay variations were measured, with calculated relative standard deviation averaging of about 15%. BPA concentrations of the spiked samples were also verified and confirmed with LC-MS. Such functionalised biosensor chip can be reused for more than 200 sample injections over a period longer than 6 months. Developed as a robust, user-friendly and cost-effective system that can be field deployed, the MiniLab™ system enables target-specific assays currently only available in the lab to become available in the field. © 2015, © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

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