An Australian researcher has claimed to have developed a new enzyme-based method, the first in the world, that will help microbiologists to detect E coli bacteria in sewage and saline water samples.
“It is a world-first to use this particular agar for saline and marine-type water samples,” Unitywater microbiologist Tracey Wohlsen said. “There are other methods to detect E coli in 24 hours in freshwater samples, but there is currently no method to detect it in marine and saline water samples,” she said.
According to ABC report on Monday, the method will allow contaminated waterways to be treated more quickly than the usual 48 hours.Wohlsen said the new test has halved the time it takes to detect the bacteria in water samples. She said there is already international interest in the new methodology.“We’ve had very positive feedback from our peers and a lot of other laboratories are interested in taking on this method as well. Our colleagues in the UK are quite excited about the new method and one of the agars that we use is actually manufactured in the UK, so they’re quite keen to do publications and public releases in the UK as well outlining our new method.”
Most E coli strains are harmless, but some serotypes can cause serious food poisoning in humans.