Aims: The aim of this study was to examine a rapid method for detecting Escherichia coli and enterococci in recreational water. Methods and Results: Water samples were assayed for E. coli and enterococci by traditional and immunomagnetic separation/adenosine triphosphate (IMS/ATP) methods. Three sample treatments were evaluated for the IMS/ATP method: double filtration, single filtration, and direct analysis. Pearson's correlation analysis showed strong, significant, linear relations between IMS/ATP and traditional methods for all sample treatments; strongest linear correlations were with the direct analysis (r = 0.62 and 0.77 for E. coli and enterococci, respectively). Additionally, simple linear regression was used to estimate bacteria concentrations as a function of IMS/ATP results. The correct classification of water-quality criteria was 67% for E. coli and 80% for enterococci. Conclusions: The IMS/ATP method is a viable alternative to traditional methods for faecal-indicator bacteria. Significance and Impact of the Study: The IMS/ATP method addresses critical public health needs for the rapid detection of faecal-indicator contamination and has potential for satisfying US legislative mandates requiring methods to detect bathing water contamination in 2 h or less. Moreover, IMS/ATP equipment is considerably less costly and more portable than that for molecular methods, making the method suitable for field applications. ?? 2009 The Authors.
Additional Publication Details
Rapid detection of Escherichia coli and enterococci in recreational water using an immunomagnetic separation/adenosine triphosphate technique