Field Methods for Determining E. coli Concentrations in Environmental Samples: A Systematic Review Open Access

Turner, Sarah (2015)

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It is critical to utilize environmental sampling and monitoring to detect contamination in different matrices such as soil, water, and produce to assess risk. While methods for determining microbiological contamination have improved dramatically over the last few decades, they can be difficult to execute in low-resource settings due to varying levels of infrastructure, human resources, and cost. Improved detection methods are not always considered feasible for low-resource settings but methods appropriate for these settings do exist and should be implemented as the results can indicate whether or not harmful exposure to pathogens is likely. This paper is intended to encourage increased uptake of environmental microbiological sampling in the field through a systematic review of the simple field methods for detecting and enumerating Escherichia coli (E. coli) as an indicator of fecal contamination.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction. 1

1.1 Background and rational. 2

1.2 Problem Statement. 9

1.3 Objectives and Rationale. 10

1.4 Significance Statement. 10

Chapter 2: Methods. 11

Chapter 3: Results. 13

3.1 Petrifilm. 13

3.2 Colilert Quantity-Tray. 20

3.3 Compartment Bag Test. 25

3.4 Portable Membrane Filtration. 29

3.5 Delagua. 30

3.6 Aquatest. 33

3.7 Hydrogen Sulfide Test.34

3.8 EasyGel. 37

3.9 Challenges. 38

Chapter 4: Discussion, Recommendations, and Conclusion. 45

4.1 Discussion. 46

4.2 Recommendations. 46

4.3 Conclusion. 50

References. 52

Appendices. 59

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