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Evaluation of Disinfection Efficacy by a Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) Reporter System

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Disinfection is an important treatment process in order to protect the public from pathogenic microorganism. A common strategy to evaluate disinfection effectiveness is the culture based method. In this study, a green fluorescent protein (GFP) system was constructed in order to monitor bacterial growth activity and evaluate the disinfection process. The reported system was first applied to E. coli cells during batch growth to monitor cellular activity, and results suggested that the GFP-based system was an accurate, reliable and robust method for detection of active cells in situ. This reporter system was further applied to monitor real- time bacterial growth activity when cells were exposed to varying levels of chlorine disinfectant. Bacterial activity was successfully identified and quantified by this method. The results that disinfection efficacy estimated by the GFP reported system was lower compared to that calculated by the culture based method in order to inactivate the same amount of the E. coli cells. Thus this study opened up a possibility to monitor real time cellular activity at a single cell level for environmental samples. This study is SIGNIFICANT because it opened up a possibility to monitor real time cellular activity at a single cell level for environmental samples and it provides a more accurate measurement of the disinfection process to protect public health. The GFP reporter system is envisioned to provide an alternative indication of disinfection efficacy and it could provide important information for future regulations.

Keywords: 16S Rrna; disinfection efficacy; green fluorescent protein (GFP)

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864711802863607

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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