Rediske Lab helps validate qPCR method for E. coli monitoring
The Rediske Lab at AWRI was part of a 21-laboratory validation study of the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method for monitoring beach water quality for E. coli, which was recently published in the journal “Water Research”, and can provide same-day test results of recreational water quality standards. Validating qPCR is significant, as previous culture-based techniques provided results the day after beachgoers may have already been exposed to unsafe conditions. AWRI scientist Brian Scull analyzed AWRI’s validation samples, prepared calibration standards for all 21 labs in the study, and prepared a group of validation samples. Rediske Lab graduate student Molly Lane is featured in the above photo.
AWRI has conducted Lake Michigan beach monitoring for Public Health Muskegon County since 2001. The Rediske Lab has been working with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the development of qPCR methods for E. coli since 2014. Method validation represents an important milestone that will lead to the formal approval of qPCR for monitoring freshwater beach safety. AWRI continues to conduct qPCR research with the MDEQ and EPA and is in the process of implementing technology to evaluate the use of genetic markers of human and animal intestinal bacteria to track pathogen sources.