Submitted to: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2006
Publication Date: 9/1/2006
Citation: Richards, G.P., Watson, M.A. 2006. A simple fluorogenic method to assess vibrio cholerae and aeromonas hydrophila in well water. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 65(3):516-521
Interpretive Summary: We applied a new test to detect Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes cholera, and Aeromonas hydrophila, a common contaminant in sewage and a potential indicator of fecal contamination in well water. The method, referred to as the colony overlay procedure for peptidases (COPP assay), is an enzyme-based test which readily detects A. hydrophila and several strains of V. cholerae in well water. This procedure is rapid, simple, inexpensive to perform, and practical for use in testing the quality and safety of well water in areas that have suffered from catastrophic disasters like the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and Hurricane Katrina of 2005.
Technical Abstract: We present the colony overlay procedure for peptidases (COPP), a simple, fluorogenic assay for the rapid detection of Vibrio cholerae and Aeromonas hydrophila in fresh well water. Substrate cleavage by enzymes present in Vibrio and Aeromonas species produces fluorescent foci on UV-light irradiated membranes. Vibrio cholerae O1, O139, and O155 and A. hydrophila were readily detected using this procedure. The assay is practical for assessing the relative safety of well water supplies in areas that have experienced catastrophic devastation from natural disasters, acts of war, or civil strife and may help curb outbreaks of cholera and other enteric illnesses in regions such as those impacted by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and Hurricane Katrina along the United States Gulf Coast in 2005.