Evaluation of a low-cost compartment bag test to quantify hydrogen sulfideproducing bacteria in drinking water Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Tipton, Claire
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • Tests for detecting hydrogen sulfide (H2S)-producing bacteria as fecal indicators have been proposed to assess drinking water safety in low-resource settings. This study compared a semi-quantitative compartment bag test (CBT) to the EPA- and FDA-approved multiple test tube (MTT) method to quantify H2S-producing bacteria in drinking water sources. Both methods used PathoScreen™ medium to detect target bacteria in 60 surface water samples collected from North Carolina drinking water reservoirs. Samples were subjected to paired levels of incubation temperatures (25° C, 35° C) and numbers of incubation days (1, 2, 3). Results indicated a significant positive correlation between methods, particularly at 25° C and 2 days incubation (r=0.78). However, the CBT tended to underestimate H2S-producing bacteria concentrations in samples. The CBT shows promise as a microbiological drinking water test for low-resource environments, particularly where quantitative information is preferable to presence/absence results. Further calibration is recommended to improve test performance.
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  • In Copyright
  • Whalen, Stephen
  • Sobsey, Mark
  • Stewart, Jill
  • Master of Science
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2017

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