Team:IvyTech SouthBend IN


Design of a Fast-Acting Coliphage Biosensor Device
Most E. coli are harmless and actually are an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli are pathogenic and can cause illness. The types of E. coli that can cause illness can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or persons. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates about 73,000 cases of E. coli infection occur yearly in the United States and about 61 people die from the illness, most often children under the age of 5 and the elderly. We are developing a Coliophage Biosensor to detect E. coli in public waterways and lake water. Currently it takes three days to detect E.coli using the water testing method that is currently in place. A new method that has been developed by Stanek and Falkinham has improved this by detecting bacteriophage as a surrogate for E. coli. This method involves exposure of contaminated water to host bacterium expressing Bgal. Lysis of bacteria and release of the enzyme was correlated with extensive contamination. This procedure, however, takes three hours and involves filtration. We are designing a coliphage biosensor capable of detecting dangerous levels of E. coli within less than three hours without filtration.

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Team IvyTech_SouthBend_IN

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