•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Bacteriophages are used as indicators of pathogenic bacteria in drinking, and wastewaters. They also show potential in limiting aquatic bacterial populations through their lytic properties. The effect of different water characteristics (salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, and temperature) on the sensitivity of the PCR identification of virus particles were analyzed to determine at what levels bacteriophage can be detected in environmental samples. Results from this preliminary study indicate that a PCR bacteriophage detection technique has potential as a relatively efficient and economical indicator of coliform contamination in multiple aquatic environments. While further evaluation is needed, the protocol appears to function in both fresh water and saline environments, and a range of abiotic and flux conditions.