E. coli Fecal Contamination Identified through PCR Testing

Source: EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical offers analytical services to quickly identify microbial contaminants that may be present in people’s homes, schools and offices.

Cinnaminson, NJ, October 1st, 2012 -- Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) is a cutting edge molecular technology that analyzes for the genetic material known as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).� DNA is found in every cell and EMSL Analytical Laboratories has harnessed this powerful molecular testing technique to identify a host of microbial contaminants and pathogens, including E. coli.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are commonly used fecal contamination indicators frequently used to test indoor environments after a flood or sanitary sewer overflow (SSO).� When raw sewage or contaminated flood waters enter into homes and businesses they can cause extensive damage and the risk of disease to building occupants.

E. coli make up a large and diverse group of bacteria. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make people sick. Some kinds of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other illnesses. As a fecal indicator organism, E. coli can be useful for identifying situations where there is sanitation issue and a risk of potential infections from it or other potentially harmful microorganisms.�

Many people already know that some strains of E. coli are commonly associated with food pathogen testing,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc.� “Environmental testing for E. coli is also a useful tool, as are other fecal contamination indicator tests, following floods and broken sewage pipes or sanitary sewer overflows in buildings.� The qPCR analysis of E. coli can rapidly detect the presence of small quantities of the bacteria whether they are alive, dead or cannot be cultured.� For these reasons, qPCR is an exceptionally fast, accurate, sensitive and specific alternative analysis that has many advantages over traditional microbiological methods that involve culturing the bacteria which takes days instead of hours.”�

EMSL has sponsored an educational video about sanitary sewer overflows that can be seen at:


To learn more about testing for E. coli or other microbial pathogens and contaminants, please contact EMSL Analytical at www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.� The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.�


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