Lookup NU author(s): Professor Susan Chilton
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The use of molecular tools, principally qPCR, versus traditional culture-based methods for quantifying microbial parameters (e.g., Fecal Indicator Organisms) in bathing waters generates considerable ongoing debate at the science-policy interface. Advances in science have allowed the development and application of molecular biological methods for rapid (similar to 2 h) quantification of microbial pollution in bathing and recreational waters. In contrast, culture-based methods can take between 18 and 96 h for sample processing. Thus, molecular tools offer an opportunity to provide a more meaningful statement of microbial risk to water-users by providing near-real-time information enabling potentially more informed decision-making with regard to water-based activities. However, complementary studies concerning the potential costs and benefits of adopting rapid methods as a regulatory tool are in short supply. We report on findings from an international Working Group that examined the breadth of social impacts, challenges, and research opportunities associated with the application of molecular tools to bathing water regulations.
Author(s): Oliver DM, Hanley ND, van Niekerk M, Kay D, Heathwaite AL, Rabinovici SJM, Kinzelman JL, Fleming LE, Porter J, Shaikh S, Fish R, Chilton S, Hewitt J, Connolly E, Cummins A, Glenk K, McPhail C, McRory E, McVittie A, Giles A, Roberts S, Simpson K, Tinch D, Thairs T, Avery LM, Vinten AJA, Watts BD, Quilliam RS
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Print publication date: 01/02/2016
Online publication date: 21/09/2015
Acceptance date: 04/09/2015
ISSN (print): 0044-7447
ISSN (electronic): 1654-7209
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