To rapidly detect the presence of E.coli in potable water food scientists now can use a bacteriophage a genetically engineered virus. In preference to sending water samples to laboratories and counting on days for results, this new test may be administered locally to obtain solutions in a few hours.
Drinking water contaminated with E. coli is a major public health concern. This phage can detect their host bacteria in sensitive situations, which mean low-cost bacteria detection assays for field use—like food safety, animal health, bio-threat detection and medical diagnostics can be provided.
The bacteriophage carries a gene for an enzyme luciferase, similar to the protein that gives fireflies radiance. The luciferase is fused to a carbohydrate binder, so that when the bacteriophage reveals the E. coli in water, a contamination begins, and the fusion enzyme is made. When released, the enzyme sticks to cellulose fibres and begins to luminesce. After the bacteriophage binds to the E. coli, the phage shoots its DNA into the microorganism.
The bacteriophage then breaks open the bacterium, releasing the enzyme as well as additional phage to attack other E. coli. This bacteriophage detects an indicator. If the test determines the presence of E. coli, the water should not be drunk.
Improper sanitation of drinking water leads to a large number of preventable diseases worldwide. Phage focussed detection technology have the capability to promptly determine if a water supply is secure to drink, an end result that serves to straight away enhance lifestyles of people via the prevention of disease.