Assessment of a Novel Substrate for detection of E. coli
Assessment of a Novel Substrate for Detection of E. coli
Section : SV, CGC, SIE
Location : Dubendorf (ZH) with possibility of field work in Burkina Faso
Duration : Master thesis
Availability: from September 2017
Hosting structure : Eawag-Sandec.
Eawag mandate is to develop and test methods and technologies that help the worlds’ poorest access sustainable water and sanitation services, doing this by:
- Working in close collaboration with international and local universities, NGOs, governmental bodies and development organizations, to ensure buy-in and future scale-up.
- Testing and piloting in partner countries at the household, community, and city-wide scale.
- Publishing and disseminating research and training tools for free.
Project description : The Water Supply and Treatment (WST) Group in the Dept Sandec at Eawag conducts applied research on technologies and methods for improving drinking water quality in low- and middle-income countries. Eawag is seeking a student for a MSc thesis project on the assessment of a novel substrate for detection of E. coli called RUG (Resorufin-beta-D-glucuronide methyl ester). As compared to standard methods, RUG generates a strong pink coloration and therefore does not require external UV illumination. RUG is also more sensitive at lower bacteria concentrations, requires shorter incubation times, and remains stable for prolonged storage periods in tropical climates. RUG therefore offers an intriguing solution for the detection of fecal contamination in drinking water, especially in developing countries.
Laboratory work will be done at Eawag under the supervision of Dr. Sara Marks (Sandec Dept.) and Dr. Timothy Julian (Umik Dept.). Robustness tests can include, if feasible, field work in Burkina Faso. In addition to the final MSc thesis, an expected output of this project is a technical brief or journal article. This project is supported by the WHO/Eawag Collaborating Centre on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.
Interested students should send their CV and a statement of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Required skills :
The MSc student will assess the RUG method by conducting:
- Positive and negative controls
- Strain challenges
- Sensitivity/specificity tests
- Sensitivity to a range of incubation temperatures
- Robustness to different water matrices
Contact : Dr. Sara Marks, email@example.com