Charm Sciences announces Fast Phage, a new 8-hour fecal indicator test for drinking water

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Source: Charm Sciences, Inc.

Charm Sciences, Inc. announces the launch of Fast Phage, a quick, simple and cost-effective way to screen for coliphage in water. Fast Phage provides positive prediction within 8 hours and coliphage plaque confirmation at 16 hours – enabling a same-day public health response to contaminated drinking water. Coliphage are indicators of fecal contamination in ground water, similar to E. coli. While the presence of E. coli indicate that the water may contain potentially harmful bacteria, the presence of coliphage indicate that the water may also contain potentially harmful viruses, such as noroviruses or hepatitis A.

Since 1990, viral contamination has been the source of more than half of all waterborne illnesses. Traditional bacterial (coliform/ E. coli) indicator tests for drinking water remain blind to viral contamination, so even if water passes bacterial inspection, it could still contain a viral risk. Furthermore, since viruses have greater survivability and resistance to water disinfection, coliphage may serve as better overall indicators of ground water quality. By providing fast coliphage detection, Fast Phage is an ideal complement or substitute to bacterial testing, enabling the public to have even greater confidence in the quality and safety of drinking water.

Fast Phage includes single-dose ready-to-use reagents, making the test simple and convenient to perform. Test kits are available for male-specific (F+) and somatic coliphage.

Fast Phage is a simplified modification of EPA Method 1601, an approved coliphage detection method specified in the Ground Water Rule. Fast Phage’s 16-hour plaque result is equivalent to Method 1601 according to performance criteria defined in the method. The test features a rapid and easy-to-read fluorescence prediction step. The same-day fluorescent feature is predictive of the 16-hour result in external lab evaluations. This makes Fast Phage the first drinking water quality test to provide results within one working day.

Visit Charm Sciences at the 2009 Water Quality Technology Conference in Seattle, November 15 -19, Booth #515.

About Charm Sciences, Inc.
Charm Sciences is the world leader in food and water safety diagnostic tests. Charm’s extensive diagnostics portfolio includes test kits and integrated programs for antibiotic residues, mycotoxins, pesticides, alkaline phosphatase, pathogens, end-product microbial assessment, allergen control, and ATP. Charm's water tests include Fast Phage - a same day viral water quality indicator test for coliphage, and EPA-approved E*Colite for detecting coliform and E. coli in drinking water. Test applications for bottled waters and enterbacteriaceae detection are also available. Charm serves the food and beverage, water, health care, pharmaceutical, personal care, environmental, and industrial markets through distributors in more than 75 countries.

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