Demonstration of an optical biosensor for the detection of faecal indicator bacteria in freshwater and coastal bathing areas

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Ciprian Briciu-BurghinaFiona Regan


ColiSense, an early warning system developed for Escherichia coli detection, is assessed using environmental samples. The system relies on the detection of β-glucuronidase (GUS), a biomarker enzyme for E. coli. In contrast with other rapid GUS-based methods, ColiSense is the only method that uses 6-chloro-4-methyl-umbelliferyl-β-D-glucuronide (6-CMUG) as a fluorogenic substrate. The system measures a direct kinetic response of extracted GUS, and the detection was carried out in the absence of particles or bacteria. It is necessary to evaluate the system with environmental samples to establish the relationship between faecal indicator bacteria E. coli and the response measured by the ColiSense. This paper presents the results of tests carried out with the ColiSense system for 2 trials, one conducted with freshwater samples collected from rivers in the Dublin area and a second conducted with seawater samples from coastal areas collected over the bathing season. A positive linear correlation was found between E. coli (MPN 100 mL-1) and ColiSense response (R2 = 0.85, N = 125, p < 0.01) for the seawater sample. A ColiSense response threshold was identified as 0-1.8 pmol min-1 100 mL-1, equivalent to 0-500 E. coli 100 mL-1. Using thi...Continue Reading


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