Flow cytometric bacterial cell counts challenge conventional heterotrophic plate counts for routine microbiological drinking water monitoring

S. Van Nevel, S. Koetzsch, C.R. Proctor, M.D. Besmer, E.I. Prest, Johannes S. Vrouwenvelder, A. Knezev, N. Boon, F. Hammes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drinking water utilities and researchers continue to rely on the century-old heterotrophic plate counts (HPC) method for routine assessment of general microbiological water quality. Bacterial cell counting with flow cytometry (FCM) is one of a number of alternative methods that challenge this status quo and provide an opportunity for improved water quality monitoring. After more than a decade of application in drinking water research, FCM methodology is optimised and established for routine application, supported by a considerable amount of data from multiple full-scale studies. Bacterial cell concentrations obtained by FCM enable quantification of the entire bacterial community instead of the minute fraction of cultivable bacteria detected with HPC (typically 
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-206
Number of pages16
JournalWater Research
Volume113
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 8 2017

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Sam van Nevel was supported by the project grant no. G.0808.10N and the travel grant V424114N of the FWO Flanders and the Inter-University Attraction Pole (IUAP) ‘μ-manager’ funded by the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO, 305 P7/25); Emmanuelle Prest and Hans Vrouwenvelder were supported by funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Evides Waterbedrijf; the Inter-University Attraction Pole (IUAP) ‘μ-manager’ funded by the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO, 305 P7/25); Caitlin Proctor was supported by MERMAID, a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Initial Training Network, under grant number 607492. We thank Alina Nescerecka, the Kantonal Laboratory Zürich, Industrielle Werke Basel – Wasserlabor (IWB) and Pidpa for the shared data, Lisa Neu for literature support and Synthia Maes for the critical reading of the manuscript.

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