Revolution of Water Quality Analysis: Bringing DNA/RNA Diagnostics into the 21st Century

Current surveys show great potential & need for molecular genetic methods in the detection and characterization of faecal pollution sources in water. Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences significantly involved.
By: KL Krems
KREMS, Austria - March 19, 2024 - PRLog -- A global evaluation of more than 1,100 publications from the last 30 years demonstrates the successful use of DNA/RNA analysis to conduct scientific studies on hygienic water quality and safety based on faecal microbiological indicators and intestinal pathogens. Accordingly, the international team of the comprehensive meta-study defines this important field as the new scientific discipline of "Genetic Faecal Pollution Diagnostics (GFPD)". This includes methods such as DNA/RNA-PCR analysis and sequencing. The importance of this new discipline is also underlined by an ongoing worldwide survey on the use of GFPD in the daily practice of water management by authorities, organizations, and institutes. The results of these two studies will play a central role at several international conferences in the coming months and will help to put the enormous potential of modern molecular genetic methods even more at the service of water analysis and hygiene.

Microbiological faecal contamination of water has been analysed in the same way for over 100 years: Bacterial cultures are prepared. This standardized method, which is used worldwide, can detect microorganisms in the intestinal flora after 1-2 days, providing evidence of faecal contamination. The use of molecular genetic methods in water hygiene now allows a significant expansion of the scientific possibilities for hazard and risk analysis of faecal microbiological contamination of water and water resources. An international team led by Prof. Andreas Farnleitner from the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences (KL Krems) and the TU Wien is now advocating the increased use of these possibilities for the hygienic assessment of faecal microbiological contamination and has underlined this commitment with a study that has attracted worldwide attention and other activities.

Scientific contact

Prof. Andreas Farnleitner

Water Quality and Health Division

Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences

Dr.-Karl-Dorrek-Straße 30

3500 Krems an der Donau / Austria

M +43 664 / 605 88 22 44



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