Why Should You Attend:
Microbial water quality detection methods have become outdated, at a time when the risks to water supplies appear to be increasing. Because the hydrologic system is interconnected, water managers must be concerned with the quality of water used for all purposes—sustaining life, communities, and economies. Rainwater, surface water, ground water, and coastal and beach waters are all interconnected, and the water supply itself is connected to the food supply.
Indicator microbes are used to predict and/or minimize the potential risk from pathogenic microbes. Indicator organisms are useful in that numerous pathogens may be transmitted via a water route. Indicators circumvent the need to assay for each and every pathogen. Ideally, indicators are rapidly detected, easily enumerated, and have survival characteristics that are similar to those of the pathogens of concern. Fecal coliforms have been used extensively for many years as an indicator for determining the sanitary quality of surface, recreational, and shellfish growing waters, but are too nonspecific for interpretive purposes and have been replaced by Escherichia coli. In recent years, scientists have learned more about the ways in which the coliforms’ ecology, prevalence, and resistance to stress differs from many of the pathogenic microorganisms they are proxy for. These differences are so great that they limit the utility of E. coli. Therefore, numerous other microbes have been suggested to play the role of indicator, including enterococci, Clostridium perfringens, male-specific coliphages, and bifidobacteriaphages. Alternative chemical indices have also been suggested as complements to E. coli. These include corprostinol or caffeine compounds. A drawback to these alternatives is that their ability to assess risk from water usage is unclear. Before alternative indicators replace or augment fecal coliforms, their application must be specifically defined to ensure that they do a better job than the E. coli themselves in reflecting health risk.
This webinar will look at the historical use of indicator organisms to define the safety and quality of water and will examine the limitations of this approach for evaluating water safety depending on use. Waterborne outbreaks will be reviewed in the context of identifying the wide etiological scope and the inability of traditional indicators to mitigate these risks. Alternate considerations for assessing water quality potability will also be discussed.
Areas Covered in the Webinar:
Who Will Benefit:
This webinar will provide valuable assistance to:
Michael Brodsky, has been an Environmental Microbiologist for more than 44 years. He is a Past President of the Ontario Food Protection Association and AOAC International. He serves as co-Chair for the AOAC Expert Review Committee for Microbiology, as a scientific reviewer in Microbiology for the AOAC OMA and the AOAC Research Institute, as a reviewer for Standard Method for the Examination of Water and Wastewater and as a chapter editor on QA for the Compendium of Methods in Microbiology. He is also a lead auditor/assessor in microbiology for the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) and was the Vice-Chair of the CALA Board of Directors.
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