Basin-Wide Identification of Fecal Contamination and Source Tracking in Marina Bay by PCR-Based Approach (PUB Project´╝ë

Waters contaminated with human faeces are generally perceived as constituting a greater human health risk than that with animal faeces, because of their potential associations with human pathogens. Microbial Source Tracking (MST) identifies the micro-organisms associated with the sources of excreta, through bacteriological, genotypic, phenotypic, or chemical methods. This allows for adequate assessment of water quality and development of watershed management plans.

In this project, the presence of fecal pollution in seven sampling points in the Marina Basin is studied using bacteria Enterococci, Bacteriodes and Bifidobacteria as indicators (Figure 1). Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based [quantitative PCR (QPCR), nested-PCR, multiplex PCR] and other molecular biology methods (cloning and DNA sequencing), are adopted for rapid, cost-effective, high-throughput and sensitive detection. The results will help to identify the source categories of faecal pollution over whole areas (if any), to locate potential problem areas with intense exposure to specific sources of contamination; to advise management strategies to reduce or eliminate the sources; and to generate database for the characterisation of faecal pollution in Singapore waters.

Figure 1. Map of the sampling locations in Marina Basin

Last updated on 2 Sep 2010