Microbial Source Tracking

Microbial Source Tracking is a process whereby specific host sources of fecal contamination in lakes, rivers and watersheds are determined through the detection of Fecal Indicator Bacteria such as those in the Bacteroides group. Potential sources of fecal contamination include humans, cows, pigs,  horses, dogs, deer and waterfowl.

When using Molecular Biology techniques, Microbial Source Tracking has the advantage of selecting unique DNA Marker Sequences within the Bacteroides bacteria group that allow for the host source of fecal contamination to be identified.

Molecular Biology techniques  which include the extraction of Bacteroides bacteria group DNA, and the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) amplification of unique DNA Marker Sequences, are used to identify the host source of fecal contamination from water samples.

The Library Independent methods  of Microbial Source Tracking used by Helix Biological Laboratory allow  for a more rapid determination of the source of fecal contamination in  water samples and also offer the advantage of being both highly sensitive and specific.

Helix Biological Laboratory has Bacteroides Group DNA markers available to identify fecal contamination from the following host sources:  
Cow (bovine)
Horse (equine)
Dog (canine)
Deer (elk)

Ruminant animals

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