Bluephage: A rapid method for the detection of somatic coliphages used as indicators of fecal pollution in water

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2018Researchpeer-review

Without internal affiliation

  • Author: Muniesa, Maite

    University of Barcelona

  • Author: Balleste, Elisenda

    University of Barcelona

  • Author: Imamovic, Lejla

    University of Barcelona

  • Author: Pascual-Benito, M.

    University of Barcelona

  • Author: Toribio-Avedillo, D.

    University of Barcelona

  • Author: de Lucena, Andre Frossard Pereira

    University of Barcelona

  • Author: Blanch, A. R.

    University of Barcelona

  • Author: Jofre, J.

    University of Barcelona

View graph of relations

The use of somatic coliphages as indicators of fecal and viral pollution in water and food has great potential due to the reliability, reproducibility, speed and cost effectiveness of methods for their detection. Indeed, several countries already use this approach in their water management policies. Although standardized protocol's for somatic coliphage detection are available, user-friendly commercial kits would facilitate their routine implementation in laboratories. The new method presented here allows detection of up to 1 somatic coliphage in under 3.5 h, well within one working day. The method is based on a modified Escherichia coil strain with knocked-out uidB and uidC genes, which encode the transport of glucuronic acid inside cells, and overexpressing uidA, which encodes the enzyme beta-glucuronidase. The enzyme accumulated in the bacterial cells only has contact with its substrate after cell lysis, such as that caused by phages, since the strain cannot internalize the substrate. When the enzyme is released into the medium, which contains a chromogen analogous to glucuronic acid, it produces a change of color from yellow to dark blue. This microbiological method for the determination of fecal pollution via the detection of culturable microorganisms can be applied to diverse sample types and volumes for qualitative (presence/absence) and quantitative analysis and is the fastest reported to date. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Research
Volume128
Pages (from-to)10-19
Number of pages10
ISSN0043-1354
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

ID: 142116130