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Modular development of an inline monitoring system for waterborne pathogens in raw and drinking water

: Karthe, Daniel; Behrmann, Ole; Blättel, Verena; Elsässer, Dennis; Heese, Christian; Hügle, Matthias; Hufert, Frank; Kunze, Andreas; Niessner, Reinhard; Ho, Johannes; Scharaw, Buren; Spoo, Matthias; Thiem, Andreas; Urban, Gehard; Vosseler, Silvia; Westerhoff, Thomas; Dame, Gregory; Seidel, Michael


Environmental earth sciences 75 (2016), Art. 1481, 16 S.
ISSN: 1866-6280 (Print)
ISSN: 1866-6299 (Online)
Fraunhofer IOSB ()
hygiene monitoring; waterborne pathogens; drinking water; raw water; concentration system; sample pretreatment; Lab-on-a-Chip; PCR; RPA; Isothermal amplification; Live/dead discrimination

The state-of-the-art monitoring of drinking water hygiene is based on the cultivation and enumeration of indicator bacteria. Despite its proven reliability, this approach has the disadvantages of being (a) relatively slow and (b) limited to a small number of indicator bacteria. Ideally, alternative methods would be less time-consuming while providing information about a larger set of hygienically relevant microorganisms including viruses. In this paper, we present insights into the design of a modular concentration and detection system for bacteria, bacteriophages and viruses. Following further validation, this or similar techniques have the potential to extend and speed up the monitoring of raw and drinking water hygiene in the future. The system consists of different modules for the concentration of microorganisms, an amplification and detection unit that includes a module for the differentiation between live and dead microorganisms, and an automated system for decision support and self-diagnosis. The ongoing testing under controlled laboratory conditions and real-life conditions in the water supply industry yields further system improvements. Moreover, the increased sensitivity and broader range of microbiological parameters emphasize the need for a reconsideration of the currently used criteria for the assessment of (drinking) water hygiene.