The presence of enteric pathogens in water resources represents a serious risk for public health. Therefore, their precise detection, and especially detection of E. coli, which is obviously regarded as the main indicator of faecal contamination of water, is an essential step in ensuring bacterial safety of water. Numerous PCR protocols for detection of E. coli have been published to date. They are usually based on amplification of regions derived from lacZ (β-d-galactosidase) and uidA (β-d-glucuronidase) gene sequences. However, these methods are not universal enough for precise detection of all E. coli strains found in water samples. We developed a novel triplex PCR method for detection of E. coli in which cyd gene coding for cytochrome bd complex was co-amplified along with lacZ and uidA genes. Our triplex PCR approach significantly increases the specificity and reliability of E. coli detection in water samples. This approach allowed us to distinguish Shigella flexneri from E. coli. In addition, we were able to detect even non-coliform Klebsiella and Raoutella spp., some of which can also cause infections to humans.

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