Using qPCR for Water Microbial Risk Assessments
Jorge Santo Domingo, Mary Schoen, Nicholas Ashbolt and Hodon Ryu
from: Quantitative Real-time PCR in Applied Microbiology (Edited by: Martin Filion). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2012)
Microbial risk assessment (MRA) has traditionally utilized microbiological data that was obtained by culture-based techniques that are expensive and time consuming. With the advent of PCR methods there is a realistic opportunity to conduct MRA studies economically, in less time, and simultaneously targeting multiple pathogens and their sources. More importantly, recently developed qPCR assays provide the opportunity to estimate the densities of the reference pathogens and their sources, which is critical to quantitative MRA (QMRA) analyses. In this chapter we discuss the use of qPCR-based methods to identify risks associated with exposure to water, namely, drinking and recreational waters. We discuss the advantages associated with the current qPCR approaches used in microbial water quality studies and critically evaluate some of the limitations as they relate to the use of QMRA in the assessment of microbial water quality and public health protection read more ...