Chapter 3.4.1 : The Evolving Science of Microbial Source Tracking

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Section X of the Manual of Environmental Microbiology addresses the burgeoning area of microbial source tracking (MST), a collection of methodologies and approaches whose aim is to determine the dominant source(s) of fecal contamination of water bodies. Many health- and management-related areas can benefit from MST analyses, including total maximum daily load (TMDL) determinations, beach and water resource management, quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA), and epidemiology. This chapter provides a brief overview of the rationale for and theory of MST, followed by chapters that detail MST methodologies and practice. This chapter also suggests future directions for a field that has changed considerably over the last two decades - as it has evolved from an emphasis on building large databases of bacterial phenotypes or genotypes toward the use of culture-independent methods that focus on single genetic targets or microbial community structure. The field is in the process of adopting high-throughput DNA sequencing methods that allow consideration of genomic and metagenomic data to identify host-associated microorganisms and/or patterns in communities that may contribute to accurate identification of fecal pollution sources in the environment.

Citation: Harwood V, Hagedorn C, Sadowsky M. 2016. The Evolving Science of Microbial Source Tracking, p 3.4.1-1-3.4.1-7. In Yates M, Nakatsu C, Miller R, Pillai S (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818821.ch3.4.1
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The essential objective of microbial source tracking doi: 10.1128/9781555818821.ch3.4.1

Citation: Harwood V, Hagedorn C, Sadowsky M. 2016. The Evolving Science of Microbial Source Tracking, p 3.4.1-1-3.4.1-7. In Yates M, Nakatsu C, Miller R, Pillai S (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818821.ch3.4.1
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