Performance Characteristics of qPCR Assays Targeting Human- and Ruminant-Associated Bacteroidetes for Microbial Source Tracking across Sixteen Countries on Six Continents
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2013

Numerous quantitative PCR assays for microbial fecal source tracking (MST) have been developed and evaluated in recent years. Widespread application has been hindered by a lack of knowledge regarding the geographical stability and hence applicability of such methods beyond the regional level. This study assessed the performance of five previously reported quantitative PCR assays targeting human-, cattle-, or ruminant-associated Bacteroidetes populations on 280 human and animal fecal samples from 16 countries across six continents. The tested cattle-associated markers were shown to be ruminant-associated. The quantitative distributions of marker concentrations in target and nontarget samples proved to be essential for the assessment of assay performance and were used to establish a new metric for quantitative source-specificity. In general, this study demonstrates that stable target populations required for marker-based MST occur around the globe. Ruminant-associated marker concentrations were strongly correlated with total intestinal Bacteroidetes populations and with each other, indicating that the detected ruminant-associated populations seem to be part of the intestinal core microbiome of ruminants worldwide. Consequently tested ruminant-targeted assays appear to be suitable quantitative MST tools beyond the regional level while the targeted human-associated populations seem to be less prevalent and stable, suggesting potential for improvements in human-targeted methods.


real-time pcr

quantitative pcr







bovine fecal pollution


G. H. Reischer

Interuniversity Cooperation Centre for Water and Health

Technische Universität Wien

J. E. Ebdon

University of Brighton

J. M. Bauer

Technische Universität Wien

N. Schuster

Technische Universität Wien

W. Ahmed

CSIRO Land and Water

Johan Åström

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Vatten Miljö Teknik

A. R. Blanch

Universitat de Barcelona

G. Bloschl

Technische Universität Wien

D. Byamukama

Makerere University

T. Coakley

University of Kentucky

C. Ferguson

ALS Water Sciences Group

G. Goshu

Bahar Dar University

G. Ko

Seoul National University

A. M. D. Husman

National Institute of Public Health and the Environment

D. Mushi

Sokoine University

R. Poma

Universidad Nacional de Salta

B. Pradhan

Tribhuvan University

V. Rajal

Universidad Nacional de Salta

M. A. Schade

Bavarian Environment Agency

R. Sommer

Interuniversity Cooperation Centre for Water and Health

Medizinische Universität Wien

H. Taylor

University of Brighton

E. M. Toth

Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE)

V. Vrajmasu

Veterinary State Laboratory

S. Wuertz

University of California

R. L. Mach

Technische Universität Wien

A. H. Farnleitner

Technische Universität Wien

Interuniversity Cooperation Centre for Water and Health

Environmental Science & Technology

0013-936X (ISSN) 1520-5851 (eISSN)

Vol. 47 15 8548-8556


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