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Table of contents

As a result, microbial source tracking MST has emerged as a field that has evolved and diversified rapidly since the first approaches were described only a decade ago.

In response to the emergence of MST, there have been three large multi-laboratory method comparison studies two in the US and one in Europe , plus numerous workshops, book chapters, and review articles dedicated to synthesizing information on the topic. Furthermore, a federal USEPA guide document describing the uses and limitations of MST methods was published in , and a book dedicated to MST as an emerging issue in food safety was published in These documents provide a collective body of literature on MST that is both conflicting and complementary, often repetitious, and difficult to condense and interpret.

In addition, it does not reflect the current diversity of MST approaches with different organisms, newer methodologies such as quantitative PCR, and anthropogenic chemicals, nor does it embrace the scope of MST research being conducted around the world.

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The three editors of the book, all with extensive MST expertise, have developed chapters and invited authors who reflect the rich diversity and truly international scope of MST. Statistical approaches for modeling in microbial source tracking. Blanch, Anicet R. Editor Springer. Abstract Microbial source tracking MST concerns the definition of new indicators and appropriate detection methods, the identification of host-specific indicators of fecal pollution, and ultimately the development of useful and reliable predictive models for practical deployment.

Optimal predictive models should be designed using proper statistical and computational tools for the analysis of the available data samples. Perhaps not surprisingly, many of the studies that have been done have emphasized regulatory fecal-indicator microorganisms and pathogens of human health or economic importance.


One such organism is E. Gordon and Cowling measured the distribution of enteric coliform bacteria of which E. In other studies, fecal coliform concentrations of which E. Use of E.

Microbial Source Tracking - Southern California Coastal Water Research Project

Where information is available, indications are that the other proposed source identifiers also tend to violate the assumption of presence at consistent concentrations in feces of their hosts table 2. Microorganisms are susceptible to genetic shuffling genome plasticity.

Genome plasticity occurs over timeframes relevant to this discussion because some microorganisms go through many generations in a matter of days Savageau, Because bacterial reproduction is asexual, mechanisms for genetic rearrangement are generally within a single generation rather than during the reproductive process. Mechanisms include transfer of genetic material within and between species conjugation , uptake and incorporation of naked DNA in the environment transformation , incorporation of virus DNA lysogeny , and transfer of mobile genetic elements plasmids; Smith-Keary, Genome plasticity may affect subtypes defined by genetic fingerprints pulsed-field gel electrophoresis PFGE , ribotypes, rep-PCR and others and phenotypic characteristics partially defined by plasmid-based traits ARA more than those defined by a single locus or other target sequence length heterogeneity PCR, toxin genes, coliphage genotyping.

Virus reproduction, through host-mediated replication, is subject to the same random genetic shuffling mechanisms as the host during replication. As with bacteria, some viruses are known to be more prone to genetic recombination and mutation than others. The mechanisms of genome plasticity have been defined and observed; however, actual rates of transformation and recombination in the environment are not well defined in most cases. In addition to genome plasticity, there are constant shifts in dominance among the enteric microorganisms. Caugant and others reported finding few "resident" E.

Overall, though, 62 percent of E. Functional genetic markers may prove to be more temporally stable source indicators. Examples of functional genes include those encoding housekeeping genes Maynard Smith and others, and adhesion proteins Scott and others, Function-based markers have the dual benefit of conferring host specificity on the carrier organism and limiting fitness of alternates, thereby reducing the chance that individuals not carrying the marker will be shed persistently by the host.

There may be a geographic area to which each source identifier is limited. Studies of E. The dynamics of population distribution include not only suitability of habitat host specificity, influenced by local diet and environment but also transfer and colonization among geographically isolated host populations. An isolated population of host animals may contain a dominant marker, bacteria subtype, or other source identifier that, though suitable for colonization of other host populations, does not get the chance to do so because of geographic separation.

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This lesson is particularly relevant when attempting to quantify source contributions, which is the objective of many TMDL evaluations, and for less ambitious attempts to designate detected hosts as "major" or "minor" contributors. Selective pressures in the secondary non-enteric habitat may very well undermine interpretations based on observations of source identifier characteristics in the primary enteric habitat Savageau, ; Gordon and others, This is a very important potential limitation to development of known-source isolate libraries by use of fresh feces as reference material and use of other microbial ratios to indicate fecal sources.

Microbial Source Tracking: Overview

Study objectives may require direct correlation with regulated fecal-indicator bacteria, direct correlation with human or other health risk, or both. Research that indicates whether each source identifier meets these criteria is described in table 2. Aarestrup, F. Albert, J. Atlas, R. Atwill, E. Becker, M. Beekwilder, J. Bernhard, A.

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Bettelheim, K. Blackwood, A. Bonjoch, X. Borchardt, M. Borrego, J.

Bibliographic Information

Brenner, K. Cabelli, V. Calci, K. Carrillo, M. Carson, C. Caugant, D.

Microbial source tracking : methods, applications, and case studies

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, , Standardized molecular subtyping of foodborne bacterial pathogens by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis updated ed. Chalmers, R. Chern, E. Clesceri, L. Cole, D. Cooke, E. Delahoya, N. Dick, L. Dombek, P. Dufour, A. Dumouchelle, D. Geological Survey Open File Report —, 31 p. Duncan, C. Farnleitner, A. Fayer, R. Field, K. Journal of Water and Health, v.

Franke, S. Franks, A. Furuse, K.