Using propidium monoazide to distinguish between viable and nonviable bacteria, MS2 and murine norovirus

Authors

Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: ERRATUM Volume 55, Issue 5, 397, Article first published online: 27 September 2012

G.P. Ko, Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Kwanak-gu Kwanak-ro 1, Seoul 151-752, Korea. E-mail: gko@snu.ac.kr

Abstract

Aims:  The ability to distinguish between viable and/or infectious micro-organisms and inactivated cells is extremely important for correctly performing microbial risk assessments. In this study, we evaluated whether propidium monoazide (PMA)-qPCR could distinguish between viable and nonviable bacteria and viruses.

Methods and Results:  A PMA-qPCR combined assay was applied to viable and inactivated bacteria (Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis) and viruses (MS2 and murine norovirus [MNV]). PMA, a DNA-intercalating agent, in combination with PCR was better able to distinguish between viable and nonviable bacteria and viruses than conventional PCR.

Conclusions:  These results suggest that a combined PMA-qPCR assay can be used to measure the viability of bacterial cells and bacteriophage MS2, but not MNV.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  PMA-qPCR could potentially be used to measure the viability of some micro-organisms, including virus. However, a thorough evaluation should be performed prior to measuring the viability of micro-organisms by PMA-qPCR in a quantitative way.

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