Environmental Forensics: Identification and Characterization of E. coli and other Bacterial Species in Wetland Water on UWB Campus

Posted 1 year ago by Keya Sen

School(s) : Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Nursing and Health Studies, STEM
Primary PI Name : Keya Sen
Email : ksen@uw.edu
Phone : 425-352-3360
Research Location : UW Bothell
Project Goals : The presence of E. coli in the wetlands water has already been determined using a selective and differential membrane filtration (MF) method. The presumptive E. coli will be confirmed by another test and the E.coli isolates will be analyzed by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Real Time quantitative PCR (qPCR) for virulence factors in order to determine whether the bacteria are potentially pathogenic to humans. Earlier studies have shown some bacteria were antibiotic resistant. Antibiotic resistance patterns will be examined using a wider range of antibiotics. In addition, we will determine if Salmonella and Campylobacter spp., two other diarrhea causing organism are present in the wetlands water. The source of the E. coli and Campylobacter will be traced by looking for DNA markers. Specifically, markers for an avian (crow) source will be examined. As part of the source tracking studies, E. coli, Campylobacter and Salmonella will be isolated from crow feces, gathered from crows that roost in the wetland area. The genetic patterns of the microbes isolated from the wetlands will be compared to those isolated from roosting crows. Goals: To determine if pathogenic microbes, including pathogenic E. coli, are present in the water in the wetlands. To determine the source of the microbes.
Student Qualifications : Students must have an interest in microbiology/biochemisty and have completed a microbiology or biochemistry course with one or more labs
Student Outcomes : -Students will learn techniques and methods used in “Source Tracking” studies, an important issue that arises during disease outbreaks. -Students will learn a number of molecular genetic techniques that have applications in other fields including food, environmental and clinical microbiology. -Students will develop the ability to read and analyze scientific literature.
Time Frame : Work at least 4-6 hour per week. Work 1-quarter minimum and 2-quarter applicants given preference. Attend weekly meetings to develop protocols and plans for the lab.

  • School(s) : Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Nursing and Health Studies, STEM
  • Primary PI Name : Keya Sen
  • Interested? Contact Faculty Researcher by Email : ksen@uw.edu
  • Phone : 425-352-3360
  • Research Location : UW Bothell
  • Project Goals : The presence of E. coli in the wetlands water has already been determined using a selective and differential membrane filtration (MF) method. The presumptive E. coli will be confirmed by another test and the E.coli isolates will be analyzed by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Real Time quantitative PCR (qPCR) for virulence factors in order to determine whether the bacteria are potentially pathogenic to humans. Earlier studies have shown some bacteria were antibiotic resistant. Antibiotic resistance patterns will be examined using a wider range of antibiotics. In addition, we will determine if Salmonella and Campylobacter spp., two other diarrhea causing organism are present in the wetlands water. The source of the E. coli and Campylobacter will be traced by looking for DNA markers. Specifically, markers for an avian (crow) source will be examined. As part of the source tracking studies, E. coli, Campylobacter and Salmonella will be isolated from crow feces, gathered from crows that roost in the wetland area. The genetic patterns of the microbes isolated from the wetlands will be compared to those isolated from roosting crows. Goals: To determine if pathogenic microbes, including pathogenic E. coli, are present in the water in the wetlands. To determine the source of the microbes.
  • Student Qualifications : Students must have an interest in microbiology/biochemisty and have completed a microbiology or biochemistry course with one or more labs
  • Student Outcomes : -Students will learn techniques and methods used in “Source Tracking” studies, an important issue that arises during disease outbreaks. -Students will learn a number of molecular genetic techniques that have applications in other fields including food, environmental and clinical microbiology. -Students will develop the ability to read and analyze scientific literature.
  • Number of Student Positions Available : 2
  • Time Frame : Work at least 4-6 hour per week. Work 1-quarter minimum and 2-quarter applicants given preference. Attend weekly meetings to develop protocols and plans for the lab.