Publications by authors named "Daniel R Shelton"

31 Publications

Continuous gradient temperature Raman spectroscopy of N-6DPA and DHA from -100 to 20°C.

Chem Phys Lipids 2016 10 18;200:1-10. Epub 2016 Jun 18.

Environmental Microbiology and Food Safety Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705, United States.

One of the great unanswered questions with respect to biological science in general is the absolute necessity of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) in fast signal processing tissues. N-6 docosapentaenoic acid (n-6DPA, 22:5n-6), with just one less double bond, group, is fairly abundant in terrestrial food chains yet cannot substitute for DHA. Gradient temperature Raman spectroscopy (GTRS) applies the temperature gradients utilized in differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to Raman spectroscopy, providing a straightforward technique to identify molecular rearrangements that occur near and at phase transitions. Herein we apply GTRS and DSC to n-6DPA and DHA from -100 to 20°C. 20Mb three-dimensional data arrays with 0.2°C increments and first/second derivatives allowed complete assignment of solid, liquid and transition state vibrational modes, including low intensity/frequency vibrations that cannot be readily analyzed with conventional Raman. N-6DPA and DHA show significant spectral changes with premelting (-33 and -60°C, respectively) and melting (-27 and -44°C, respectively). The CH2(HCCH)CH2 moieties are not identical in the second half of the DHA and DPA structures. DPA has bending (1450cm) over almost the entire temperature range. In contrast, DHA contains major CH twisting (1265cm) with no noticeable CH bending, consistent with a flat helical structure with a small pitch. Further modeling of neuronal membrane phospholipids must take into account torsion present in the DHA structure, which essential in determining whether the lipid chain is configured more parallel or perpendicular to the hydrophilic head group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2016.06.003DOI Listing
October 2016

Continuous Gradient Temperature Raman Spectroscopy of Oleic and Linoleic Acids from -100 to 50 °C.

Lipids 2016 11 23;51(11):1289-1302. Epub 2016 Sep 23.

Environmental Microbiology and Food Safety Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Bldg. 161 Rm. 116, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD, 20705, USA.

We analyzed the unsaturated fatty acids oleic (OA, 18:1n-9) and linoleic (LA, 18:2n-3), and a 3:1 LA:OA mixture from -100 to 50 °C with continuous gradient temperature Raman spectroscopy (GTRS). The 20 Mb three-dimensional data arrays with 0.2 °C increments and first/second derivatives allowed rapid, complete assignment of solid, liquid, and transition state vibrational modes. For OA, large spectral and line width changes occurred in the solid state γ to α transition near -4 °C, and the melt (13 °C) over a range of only 1 °C. For LA, major intensity reductions from 200 to 1750 cm and some peak shifts marked one solid state phase transition at -50 °C. A second solid state transition (-33 °C) had minor spectral changes. Large spectral and line width changes occurred at the melt transition (-7 °C) over a narrow temperature range. For both molecules, melting initiates at the diene structure, then progresses towards the ends. In the 3:1 LA:OA mixture, some less intense and lower frequencies present in the individual lipids are weaker or absent. For example, modes assignable to C8 rocking, C9H-C10H wagging, C10H-C11H wagging, and CH3 rocking are present in OA but absent in LA:OA. Our data quantify the concept of lipid premelting and identify the flexible structures within OA and LA, which have characteristic vibrational modes beginning at cryogenic temperatures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11745-016-4194-1DOI Listing
November 2016

Modeling fate and transport of fecally-derived microorganisms at the watershed scale: State of the science and future opportunities.

Water Res 2016 09 29;100:38-56. Epub 2016 Apr 29.

USDA-ARS, Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory, 10300 Baltimore Ave. Building 173, BARC-EAST, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.

Natural waters serve as habitat for a wide range of microorganisms, a proportion of which may be derived from fecal material. A number of watershed models have been developed to understand and predict the fate and transport of fecal microorganisms within complex watersheds, as well as to determine whether microbial water quality standards can be satisfied under site-specific meteorological and/or management conditions. The aim of this review is to highlight and critically evaluate developments in the modeling of microbial water quality of surface waters over the last 10 years and to discuss the future of model development and application at the watershed scale, with a particular focus on fecal indicator organisms (FIOs). In doing so, an agenda of research opportunities is identified to help deliver improvements in the modeling of microbial water quality draining through complex landscape systems. This comprehensive review therefore provides a timely steer to help strengthen future modeling capability of FIOs in surface water environments and provides a useful resource to complement the development of risk management strategies to reduce microbial impairment of freshwater sources.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2016.04.064DOI Listing
September 2016

Genome Sequence of Penicillium solitum RS1, Which Causes Postharvest Apple Decay.

Genome Announc 2016 May 12;4(3). Epub 2016 May 12.

USDA-ARS, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland, USA.

Penicillium species cause postharvest decay, commonly known as blue mold, in pome fruits, such as apples and pears. To devise novel strategies to prevent and reduce economic losses during storage, the genome sequence of Penicillium solitum RS1 is reported here for the first time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.00363-16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4866853PMC
May 2016

Aggregative adherence fimbriae I (AAF/I) mediate colonization of fresh produce and abiotic surface by Shiga toxigenic enteroaggregative Escherichia coli O104:H4.

Int J Food Microbiol 2016 Jul 12;229:44-51. Epub 2016 Apr 12.

Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory, Electron and Confocal Microscopy Unit, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA. Electronic address:

The Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli O104:H4 isolated during the 2011 European outbreak expresses Shiga toxin 2a and possess virulence genes associated with the enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) pathotype. It produces plasmid encoded aggregative adherence fimbriae I (AAF/I) which mediate cell aggregation and biofilm formation in human intestine and promote Shiga-toxin adsorption, but it is not clear whether the AAF/I fimbriae are involved in the colonization and biofilm formation on food and environmental matrices such as the surface of fresh produce. We deleted the gene encoding for the AAF/I fimbriae main subunit (AggA) from an outbreak associated E. coli O104:H4 strain, and evaluated the role of AAF/I fimbriae in the adherence and colonization of E. coli O104:H4 to spinach and abiotic surfaces. The deletion of aggA did not affect the adherence of E. coli O104:H4 to these surfaces. However, it severely diminished the colonization and biofilm formation of E. coli O104:H4 on these surfaces. Strong aggregation and biofilm formation on spinach and abiotic surfaces were observed with the wild type strain but not the isogenic aggA deletion mutant, suggesting that AAF/I fimbriae play a crucial role in persistence of O104:H4 cells outside of the intestines of host species, such as on the surface of fresh produce.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2016.04.007DOI Listing
July 2016

Irrigation waters and pipe-based biofilms as sources for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Environ Monit Assess 2016 Jan 24;188(1):56. Epub 2015 Dec 24.

USDA-ARS Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, 10300 Baltimore Ave. Bldg. 173, Beltsville, MD, 20705, USA.

The presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in environmental surface waters has gained recent attention. Wastewater and drinking water distribution systems are known to disseminate antibiotic-resistant bacteria, with the biofilms that form on the inner-surfaces of the pipeline as a hot spot for proliferation and gene exchange. Pipe-based irrigation systems that utilize surface waters may contribute to the dissemination of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a similar manner. We conducted irrigation events at a perennial stream on a weekly basis for 1 month, and the concentrations of total heterotrophic bacteria, total coliforms, and fecal coliforms, as well as the concentrations of these bacterial groups that were resistant to ampicillin and tetracycline, were monitored at the intake water. Prior to each of the latter three events, residual pipe water was sampled and 6-in. sections of pipeline (coupons) were detached from the system, and biofilm from the inner-wall was removed and analyzed for total protein content and the above bacteria. Isolates of biofilm-associated bacteria were screened for resistance to a panel of seven antibiotics, representing five antibiotic classes. All of the monitored bacteria grew substantially in the residual water between irrigation events, and the biomass of the biofilm steadily increased from week to week. The percentages of biofilm-associated isolates that were resistant to antibiotics on the panel sometimes increased between events. Multiple-drug resistance was observed for all bacterial groups, most often for fecal coliforms, and the distributions of the numbers of antibiotics that the total coliforms and fecal coliforms were resistant to were subject to change from week to week. Results from this study highlight irrigation waters as a potential source for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can subsequently become incorporated into and proliferate within irrigation pipe-based biofilms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10661-015-5067-4DOI Listing
January 2016

Release and Removal of Microorganisms from Land-Deposited Animal Waste and Animal Manures: A Review of Data and Models.

J Environ Qual 2015 Sep;44(5):1338-54

Microbial pathogens present a leading cause of impairment to rivers, bays, and estuaries in the United States, and agriculture is often viewed as the major contributor to such contamination. Microbial indicators and pathogens are released from land-applied animal manure during precipitation and irrigation events and are carried in overland and subsurface flow that can reach and contaminate surface waters and ground water used for human recreation and food production. Simulating the release and removal of manure-borne pathogens and indicator microorganisms is an essential component of microbial fate and transport modeling regarding food safety and water quality. Although microbial release controls the quantities of available pathogens and indicators that move toward human exposure, a literature review on this topic is lacking. This critical review on microbial release and subsequent removal from manure and animal waste application areas includes sections on microbial release processes and release-affecting factors, such as differences in the release of microbial species or groups; bacterial attachment in turbid suspensions; animal source; animal waste composition; waste aging; manure application method; manure treatment effect; rainfall intensity, duration, and energy; rainfall recurrence; dissolved salts and temperature; vegetation and soil; and spatial and temporal scale. Differences in microbial release from liquid and solid manures are illustrated, and the influential processes are discussed. Models used for simulating release and removal and current knowledge gaps are presented, and avenues for future research are suggested.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2015.02.0077DOI Listing
September 2015

Rainfall intensity effects on removal of fecal indicator bacteria from solid dairy manure applied over grass-covered soil.

Sci Total Environ 2016 Jan 18;539:583-591. Epub 2015 Sep 18.

USDA-ARS Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD, USA.

The rainfall-induced release of pathogens and microbial indicators from land-applied manure and their subsequent removal with runoff and infiltration precedes the impairment of surface and groundwater resources. It has been assumed that rainfall intensity and changes in intensity during rainfall do not affect microbial removal when expressed as a function of rainfall depth. The objective of this work was to test this assumption by measuring the removal of Escherichia coli, enterococci, total coliforms, and chloride ion from dairy manure applied in soil boxes containing fescue, under 3, 6, and 9cmh(-1) of rainfall. Runoff and leachate were collected at increasing time intervals during rainfall, and post-rainfall soil samples were taken at 0, 2, 5, and 10cm depths. Three kinetic-based models were fitted to the data on manure-constituent removal with runoff. Rainfall intensity appeared to have positive effects on rainwater partitioning to runoff, and removal with this effluent type occurred in two stages. While rainfall intensity generally did not impact the parameters of runoff-removal models, it had significant, inverse effects on the numbers of bacteria remaining in soil after rainfall. As rainfall intensity and soil profile depth increased, the numbers of indicator bacteria tended to decrease. The cumulative removal of E. coli from manure exceeded that of enterococci, especially in the form of removal with infiltration. This work may be used to improve the parameterization of models for bacteria removal with runoff and to advance estimations of depths of bacteria removal with infiltration, both of which are critical to risk assessment of microbial fate and transport in the environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.07.108DOI Listing
January 2016

Solid Manure As a Source of Fecal Indicator Microorganisms: Release under Simulated Rainfall.

Environ Sci Technol 2015 Jul 8;49(13):7860-9. Epub 2015 Jun 8.

‡USDA-ARS Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, United States.

Understanding and quantifying microbial release from manure is a precondition to estimation and management of microbial water quality. The objectives of this work were to determine the effects of rainfall intensity and surface slope on the release of Escherichia coli, enterococci, total coliforms, and dissolved chloride from solid dairy manure and to assess the performance of the one-parametric exponential model and the two-parametric Bradford-Schijven model when simulating the observed release. A controlled-intensity rainfall simulator induced 1 h of release in runoff/leachate partitioning boxes at three rainfall intensities (30, 60, and 90 mm h(-1)) and two surface slopes (5% and 20%). Bacterial concentrations in initial release were more than 1 order of magnitude lower than their starting concentrations in manure. As bacteria were released, they were partitioned into runoff and leachate at similar concentrations, but in different volumes, depending on slope. Bacterial release occurred in two stages that corresponded to mechanisms associated with release of manure liquid- and solid-phases. Parameters of the two models fitted to the bacterial release dependencies on rainfall depth were not significantly affected by rainfall intensity or slope. Based on model performance tests, the Bradford-Schijven model is recommended for simulating bacterial release from solid manure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b01095DOI Listing
July 2015

Continuous temperature-dependent Raman spectroscopy of melamine and structural analog detection in milk powder.

Appl Spectrosc 2015 Mar 1;69(3):398-406. Epub 2015 Feb 1.

Environmental Microbiology and Food Safety Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Building 303, BARC-East, 10300 Baltimore Blvd., Beltsville, MD 20705 USA.

Hyperspectral Raman imaging has the potential for rapid screening of solid-phase samples for potential adulterants. We can improve mixture analysis algorithms by defining a temperature range in which the contaminant spectrum changes dramatically and uniquely compared with unadulterated material. Raman spectra were acquired for urea, biuret, cyanuric acid, and melamine (pure and at 1% in dried milk powder) from 50 to 310 °C with a gradient of 1 °C min(-1). Adulterants were clearly indentified in the milk powder. Specific frequencies that were mainly associated with ring breathing, stretching, and in-plane deformation shifted with respect to temperature up to 12 cm(-1) in all four molecules. Specific frequencies significantly increased/decreased in intensity within narrow temperature ranges independent of whether the amine was mixed in milk. Correlation of Raman and differential scanning calorimetry data identified structural components and vibrational modes, which concur with or trigger phase transitions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1366/14-07600DOI Listing
March 2015

Effects of environmental parameters on the dual-species biofilms formed by Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Ralstonia insidiosa, a strong biofilm producer isolated from a fresh-cut produce processing plant.

J Food Prot 2015 Jan;78(1):121-7

Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20740, USA.

Biofilm-forming bacteria resident to food processing facilities are a food safety concern due to the potential of biofilms to harbor foodborne bacterial pathogens. When cultured together, Ralstonia insidiosa, a strong biofilm former frequently isolated from produce processing environments, has been shown to promote the incorporation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 into dual-species biofilms. In this study, interactions between E. coli O157:H7 and R. insidiosa were examined under different incubating conditions. Under static culture conditions, the incorporation of E. coli O157:H7 into biofilms with R. insidiosa was not significantly affected by either low incubating temperature (10°C) or by limited nutrient availability. Greater enhancement of E. coli O157:H7 incorporation in dual-species biofilms was observed by using a continuous culture system with limited nutrient availability. Under the continuous culture conditions used in this study, E coli O157:H7 cells showed a strong tendency of colocalizing with R. insidiosa on a glass surface at the early stage of biofilm formation. As the biofilms matured, E coli O157:H7 cells were mostly found at the bottom layer of the dual-species biofilms, suggesting an effective protection by R. insidiosa in the mature biofilms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-14-302DOI Listing
January 2015

Dual-species biofilm formation by Escherichia coli O157:H7 and environmental bacteria isolated from fresh-cut processing facilities.

Int J Food Microbiol 2014 Feb 18;171:15-20. Epub 2013 Nov 18.

Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20740, United States.

Biofilm formation is a mechanism adapted by many microorganisms that enhances the survival in stressful environments. In food processing facilities, foodborne bacterial pathogens, which many are poor biofilm formers, could potentially take advantage of this protective mechanism by interacting with other strong biofilm producers. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of bacteria native to fresh produce processing environments on the incorporation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in biofilms. Bacteria strains representing 13 Gram-negative species isolated from two fresh produce processing facilities in a previous study were tested for forming dual-species biofilms with E. coli O157:H7. Strong biofilm producing strains of Burkholderia caryophylli and Ralstonia insidiosa exhibited 180% and 63% increase in biofilm biomass, and significant thickening of the biofilms (B. caryophylli not tested), when co-cultured with E. coli O157:H7. E. coli O157:H7 populations increased by approximately 1 log in dual-species biofilms formed with B. caryophylli or R. insidiosa. While only a subset of environmental isolates with strong biofilm formation abilities increased the presence of E. coli O157:H7 in biofilms, all tested E. coli O157:H7 exhibited higher incorporation in dual-species biofilms with R. insidiosa. These observations support the notion that E. coli O157:H7 and specific strong biofilm producing bacteria interact synergistically in biofilm formation, and suggest a route for increased survival potential of E. coli O157:H7 in fresh produce processing environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2013.11.007DOI Listing
February 2014

Native microflora in fresh-cut produce processing plants and their potentials for biofilm formation.

J Food Prot 2013 May;76(5):827-32

Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20740, USA.

Representative food contact and nonfood contact surfaces in two mid-sized, fresh-cut processing facilities were sampled for microbiological analyses after routine daily sanitization. Mesophilic and psychrotrophic bacteria on the sampled surfaces were isolated by plating on nonselective bacterial media. Alternatively, bacteria were isolated after an incubation period that allowed the formation of heterogeneous biofilms on stainless steel beads. Of over 1,000 tested isolates, most were capable of forming biofilms, with approximately 30 % being strong or moderate biofilm formers. Selected isolates (117) were subjected to species identification by using the Biolog Gen III microbial identification system. They distributed among 23 genera, which included soil bacteria, plant-related bacteria, coliforms, and opportunistic plant- or human-pathogenic bacteria. The most commonly identified bacteria species were Pseudomonas fluorescens, Rahnella aquatilis, and Ralstonia insidiosa. The high prevalence of R. insidiosa, a strong biofilm former, and P. fluorescens, a moderate biofilm former, suggests that they were established residents in the sampled plants. These results suggest that native microflora capable of forming biofilms are widely distributed in fresh-produce processing environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-12-433DOI Listing
May 2013

Using the Q10 model to simulate E. coli survival in cowpats on grazing lands.

Environ Int 2013 Apr 31;54:1-10. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

Department of Agronomy, University of Cordoba, 14071, Cordoba, Spain.

Microbiological quality of surface waters can be affected by microbial load in runoff from grazing lands. This effect, with other factors, depends on the survival of microorganisms in animal waste deposited on pastures. Since temperature is a leading environmental parameter affecting survival, it indirectly impacts water microbial quality. The Q10 model is widely used to predict the effect of temperature on rates of biological processes, including survival. Objectives of this work were to (i) evaluate the applicability of the Q10 model to Escherichia coli inactivation in bovine manure deposited on grazing land (i.e., cowpats) and (ii) identify explanatory variables for the previously reported E. coli survival dynamics in cowpats. Data utilized in this study include published results on E. coli concentrations in natural and repacked cowpats from research conducted the U.S. (Virginia and Maryland), New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Inspection of the datasets led to conceptualizing E. coli survival (in cowpats) as a two-stage process, in which the initial stage was due to growth, inactivation or stationary state of the population and the second stage was the approximately first-order inactivation. Applying the Q10 model to these datasets showed a remarkable similarity in inactivation rates, using the thermal time. The reference inactivation rate constant of 0.042 (thermal days)(-1) at 20 °C gave a good approximation (R(2)=0.88) of all inactivation stage data with Q10=1.48. The reference inactivation rate constants in individual studies were no different from the one obtained by pooling all data (P<0.05). The rate of logarithm of the E. coli concentration change during the first stage depended on temperature. Duration of the first stage, prior to the first-order inactivation stage and the initial concentration of E. coli in cowpats, could not be predicted from available data. Diet and age are probable factors affecting these two parameters however, until their environmental and management predictors are known, microbial water quality modeling must treat them as a stochastic source of uncertainty in simulation results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2012.12.013DOI Listing
April 2013

Potential pollutant sources in a Choptank River (USA) subwatershed and the influence of land use and watershed characteristics.

Sci Total Environ 2012 Jul 26;430:270-9. Epub 2012 May 26.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA.

Row-crop and poultry production have been implicated as sources of water pollution along the Choptank River, an estuary and tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. This study examined the effects of land use, subwatershed characteristics, and climatic conditions on the water quality parameters of a subwatershed in the Choptank River watershed. The catchments within the subwatershed were defined using advanced remotely-sensed data and current geographic information system processing techniques. Water and sediment samples were collected in May-October 2009 and April-June 2010 under mostly baseflow conditions and analyzed for select bacteria, nitrate-N, ammonium-N, total arsenic, total phosphorus (TP), orthophosphate (ortho-P), and particle-phase phosphorus (PP); n=96 for all analytes except for arsenic, n=136, and for bacteria, n=89 (aqueous) and 62 (sediment). Detections of Enterococci and Escherichia coli concentrations were ubiquitous in this subwatershed and showed no correlation to location or land use, however larger bacterial counts were observed shortly after precipitation. Nitrate-N concentrations were not correlated with agricultural lands, which may reflect the small change in percent agriculture and/or the similarity of agronomic practices and crops produced between catchments. Concentration data suggested that ammonia emission and possible deposition to surface waters occurred and that these processes may be influenced by local agronomic practices and climatic conditions. The negative correlation of PP and arsenic concentrations with percent forest was explained by the stronger signal of the head waters and overland flow of particulate phase analytes versus dissolved phase inputs from groundwater. Service roadways at some poultry production facilities were found to redirect runoff from the facilities to neighboring catchment areas, which affected water quality parameters. Results suggest that in this subwatershed, catchments with poultry production facilities are possible sources for arsenic and PP as compared to catchment areas where these facilities were not present.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.03.056DOI Listing
July 2012

Detection of E. coli O157:H7 by immunomagnetic separation coupled with fluorescence immunoassay.

Biosens Bioelectron 2011 Dec 1;30(1):337-41. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

Creatv MicroTech, Inc., Potomac, MD 20854, USA.

Conventional culture-based methods for detection of E. coli O157:H7 in foods and water sources are time-consuming, and results can be ambiguous, requiring further confirmation by biochemical testing and PCR. A rapid immunoassay prior to cultivation to identify presumptive positive sample would save considerable time and resources. Immunomagnetic separation (IMS) techniques are routinely used for isolation of E. coli O157:H7 from enriched food and water samples, typically in conjunction with cultural detection followed by biochemical and serological confirmation. In this study, we developed a new method that combines IMS with fluorescence immunoassay, termed immunomagnetic fluorescence assay (IMFA), for the detection of E. coli O157:H7. E. coli O157:H7 cells were first captured by anti-O157 antibody-coated magnetic beads and then recognized by a fluorescent detector antibody, forming an immunosandwich complex. This complex was subsequently dissociated for measurement of fluorescence intensity with Signalyte™-II spectrofluorometer. Experiments were conducted to evaluate both linearity and sensitivity of the assay. Capture efficiencies were greater than 98%, as determined by cultural plating and quantitative real-time PCR, when cell concentrations were <10(5) cells/mL. Capture efficiency decreased at higher cell concentrations, due to the limitation of bead binding capacity. At lower cell concentrations (10-10(4) cells/mL), the fluorescence intensity of dissociated Cy5 solution was highly correlated with E. coli 157:H7 cell concentrations. The detection limit was 10 CFU per mL of water. The assay can be completed in less than 3 h since enrichment is not required, as compared to existing techniques that typically require a 24 h incubation for pre-enrichment, followed by confirmatory tests.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bios.2011.09.029DOI Listing
December 2011

Relationship between eae and stx virulence genes and Escherichia coli in an agricultural watershed: implications for irrigation water standards and leafy green commodities.

J Food Prot 2011 Jan;74(1):18-23

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory, Building 173, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center-East, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA.

The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) was adopted in an effort to minimize the risk of contamination of leafy greens with enteric pathogens from a variety of sources, including ground and surface irrigation waters. The LGMA contains standards similar to those established for recreational waters, based on Escherichia coli concentrations. However, no correlation between E. coli and any specific waterborne pathogen(s) has been reported. We conducted this monitoring study in an agricultural watershed to (i) evaluate spatial and temporal fluctuations in E. coli populations and virulence genes associated with pathogenic E. coli and (ii) investigate whether a relationship could be established between E. coli and virulence genes. The virulence genes targeted for analysis were the eae and stx genes, encoding for intimin and Shiga-like toxins, respectively; they were detected with PCR methods. E. coli concentrations and eae and stx prevalence varied both spatially and temporally. In general, both were higher in agricultural than in forested areas and were higher in the summer and fall seasons than in winter. The eae and stx genes were prevalent throughout the watershed. However, in the absence of actual isolates, no conclusions could be drawn regarding the prevalence of specific pathogenic E. coli. No correlation was observed between E. coli concentrations and virulence genes; lower E. coli concentrations were not necessarily associated with decreased prevalence of eae and stx genes. These results suggest that the LGMA standards might not adequately address the issue of waterborne contamination, and that alternative criteria might be required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-10-241DOI Listing
January 2011

Integrating waveguide biosensor.

Methods Mol Biol 2009 ;503:389-401

Creatv MicroTech Inc, Potomac, MD, USA.

The Integrating Waveguide Biosensor was developed for rapid and sensitive detection of bacterial cells, spores, and toxins. A sandwich format of immunoassay was employed using Salmonella as model. The analyte was immunocaptured on the inner surface of the waveguide and then detected by the antibody conjugated with fluorescent dye. The waveguide was illuminated by an excitation light at a 90 degrees angle. The emitted light from fluorescent labels on the surface of the waveguide was efficiently collected and channeled to a detector at the end of the waveguide, while minimizing interference from the excitation light. Utilizing fluorescent dye Cy5, a 635-nm diode laser for excitation, and a photomultiplier tube detector, the Integrating Waveguide Sensor System was able to detect approximately ten captured cells of Salmonella.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60327-567-5_22DOI Listing
March 2009

Size distributions of manure particles released under simulated rainfall.

J Environ Manage 2009 Mar 16;90(3):1365-9. Epub 2008 Sep 16.

USDA-ARS, Environmental Microbial Safety Laboratory, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Building 173, Barc-East, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.

Manure and animal waste deposited on cropland and grazing lands serve as a source of microorganisms, some of which may be pathogenic. These microorganisms are released along with particles of dissolved manure during rainfall events. Relatively little if anything is known about the amounts and sizes of manure particles released during rainfall, that subsequently may serve as carriers, abode, and nutritional source for microorganisms. The objective of this work was to obtain and present the first experimental data on sizes of bovine manure particles released to runoff during simulated rainfall and leached through soil during subsequent infiltration. Experiments were conducted using 200 cm long boxes containing turfgrass soil sod; the boxes were designed so that rates of manure dissolution and subsequent infiltration and runoff could be monitored independently. Dairy manure was applied on the upper portion of boxes. Simulated rainfall (ca. 32.4 mm h(-1)) was applied for 90 min on boxes with stands of either live or dead grass. Electrical conductivity, turbidity, and particle size distributions obtained from laser diffractometry were determined in manure runoff and soil leachate samples. Turbidity of leachates and manure runoff samples decreased exponentially. Turbidity of manure runoff samples was on average 20% less than turbidity of soil leachate samples. Turbidity of leachate samples from boxes with dead grass was on average 30% less than from boxes with live grass. Particle size distributions in manure runoff and leachate suspensions remained remarkably stable after 15 min of runoff initiation, although the turbidity continued to decrease. Particles had the median diameter of 3.8 microm, and 90% of particles were between 0.6 and 17.8 microm. The particle size distributions were not affected by the grass status. Because manure particles are known to affect transport and retention of microbial pathogens in soil, more information needs to be collected about the concurrent release of pathogens and manure particles during rainfall events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2008.08.001DOI Listing
March 2009

A multiple protocol to improve diagnosis and isolation of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli from human stool specimens.

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 2008 Sep 11;62(1):7-10. Epub 2008 Jun 11.

Environmental Microbial Safety Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD, USA.

Many infections caused by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are undiagnosed, particularly non-O157 STEC. We evaluated the use of a multiple protocol approach to improve diagnosis, isolation, and characterization of STEC strains. Among 18 presumptive STEC-positive stool samples received by the INOVA Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA, in 2006, 16 were Shiga toxin positive. From these 16 stool samples, 8 O157:H7 and 5 non-O157 STEC were isolated by plating onto sorbitol MacConkey (SMAC) agar. The remaining 5 stool samples that did not yield colonies on SMAC agar plates were enriched. All enriched samples were Shiga toxin positive, and 2 O157:H7 and 1 non-O157 STEC were subsequently isolated. The 2 remaining enriched samples did not yield isolates; however, based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, both samples contained STEC genes. Based on PCR analysis of non-O157 strains, 3 strain types were identified. Samples from 3 patients, received within 2 days of one another, had a similar gene profile-eae and stx(1) negative and stx(2) positive-suggesting that these patients were likely infected with the same strain. Our results indicate that a multiple protocol approach is necessary to reliably diagnose and isolate STEC strains, and that PCR profiling of strains could allow for more rapid identification of outbreaks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2008.05.001DOI Listing
September 2008

Development of a rapid and sensitive immunoassay for detection and subsequent recovery of Bacillus anthracis spores in environmental samples.

J Microbiol Methods 2008 Jun 2;73(3):242-6. Epub 2008 Mar 2.

Creatv MicroTech, Inc., 11609 Lake Potomac Drive, Potomac, MD 20854, United States.

Bacillus anthracis is considered a major threat as an agent of bioterrorism. B. anthracis spores are readily dispersed as aerosols, are very persistent, and are resistant to normal disinfection treatments. Immunoassays have been developed to rapidly detect B. anthracis spores at high concentrations. However, detection of B. anthracis spores at lower concentrations is problematic due to the fact that closely related Bacillus species (e.g., B. thuringiensis) can cross-react with anti-B. anthracis antibodies, resulting in false positive detections. Subsequent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis is required to differentiate virulent strains. We report here on a protocol for the rapid, sensitive detection of B. anthracis spore using the Integrating Waveguide Biosensor followed by a method for the rapid release and germination of immunocaptured spores. A detection limit of ca. 10(3) spores was achieved by incubating spores simultaneously with capture and detection antibodies ("liquid-phase" assay) prior to capture on capillary tubes/waveguides. Subsequent incubation with BHI broth directly in capillary tubes allowed for rapid germination, outgrowth, and release of spores, resulting in vegetative cells for PCR analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mimet.2008.02.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2478701PMC
June 2008

Effect of bovine manure on fecal coliform attachment to soil and soil particles of different sizes.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2007 May 16;73(10):3363-70. Epub 2007 Mar 16.

A135 Bourns Hall, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.

Manure-borne bacteria can be transported in runoff as free cells, cells attached to soil particles, and cells attached to manure particles. The objectives of this work were to compare the attachment of fecal coliforms (FC) to different soils and soil fractions and to assess the effect of bovine manure on FC attachment to soil and soil fractions. Three sand fractions of different sizes, the silt fraction, and the clay fraction of loam and sandy clay loam soils were separated and used along with soil samples in batch attachment experiments with water-FC suspensions and water-manure-FC suspensions. In the absence of manure colloids, bacterial attachment to soil, silt, and clay particles was much higher than the attachment to sand particles having no organic coating. The attachment to the coated sand particles was similar to the attachment to silt and clay. Manure colloids in suspensions decreased bacterial attachment to soils, clay and silt fractions, and coated sand fractions, but did not decrease the attachment to sand fractions without the coating. The low attachment of bacteria to silt and clay particles in the presence of manure colloids may cause predominantly free-cell transport of manure-borne FC in runoff.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.02434-06DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1907106PMC
May 2007

Impact of microbial diversity on rapid detection of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli in surface waters.

FEMS Microbiol Lett 2006 Aug;261(1):95-101

USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Environmental Microbial Safety Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350, USA.

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) are a physiologically, immunologically and genetically diverse collection of strains that pose a serious water-borne threat to human health. Consequently, immunological and PCR assays have been developed for the rapid, sensitive detection of presumptive EHEC. However, the ability of these assays to consistently detect presumptive EHEC while excluding closely related non-EHEC strains has not been documented. We conducted a 30-month monitoring study of a major metropolitan watershed. Surface water samples were analyzed using an immunological assay for E. coli O157 (the predominant strain worldwide) and a multiplex PCR assay for the virulence genes stx(1), stx(2) and eae. The mean frequency of water samples positive for the presence of E. coli O157, stx(1) or stx(2) genes, or the eae gene was 50%, 26% and 96%, respectively. Quantitative analysis of selected enriched water samples indicated that even in samples positive for E. coli O157 cells, stx(1)/stx(2) genes, and the eae gene, the concentrations were rarely comparable. Seventeen E. coli O157 strains were isolated, however, none were EHEC. These data indicate the presence of multiple strains similar to EHEC but less pathogenic. These findings have important ramifications for the rapid detection of presumptive EHEC; namely, that current immunological or PCR assays cannot reliably identify water-borne EHEC strains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6968.2006.00334.xDOI Listing
August 2006

Effect of bovine manure on Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst attachment to soil.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2005 Oct;71(10):6394-7

Bldg. 173, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center East, 10300 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.

The objective of this work was to assess the effect of dilute bovine manure (1.0% and 0.1%) versus that of no manure on attachment and subsequent detachment of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts to soil. Manure enhanced the attachment of oocysts to soil particles; the maximum attachment was observed with 0.1% manure. Oocyst attachment was partially reversible; maximum detachment was observed with dilute manure. These results indicate that oocyst attachment to soil is substantially affected by bovine manure in a complex manner and should have implications for how oocysts may be transported through or over soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.71.10.6394-6397.2005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1265989PMC
October 2005

Detection of water-borne E. coli O157 using the integrating waveguide biosensor.

Biosens Bioelectron 2005 Oct;21(4):678-83

Creatv MicroTech, Inc., 11609 Lake Potomac Drive, Potomac, MD 20854, USA.

Escherichia coli O157:H7, the most common serotype of enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), is responsible for numerous food-borne and water-borne infections worldwide. An integrating waveguide biosensor is described for the detection of water-borne E. coli O157, based on a fluorescent sandwich immunoassay performed inside a glass capillary waveguide. The genomic DNA of captured E. coli O157 cells was extracted and quantitative real-time PCR subsequently performed to assess biosensor-capture efficiency. In vitro microbial growth in capillary waveguide is also documented. The biosensor allows for quantitative detection of as few as 10 cells per capillary (0.075 ml volume) and can be used in conjunction with cell amplification, PCR and microarray technologies to positively identify a pathogen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bios.2005.01.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2483406PMC
October 2005

tir- and stx-positive Escherichia coli in stream waters in a metropolitan area.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2005 May;71(5):2511-9

USDA-ARS, Bldg. 173, 10300 Baltimore Blvd., Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.

Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli, which may include the enteropathogenic E. coli and the enterohemorrhagic E. coli, are a significant cause of diarrheal disease among infants and children in both developing and developed areas. Disease outbreaks related to freshwater exposure have been documented, but the presence of these organisms in the urban aquatic environment is not well characterized. From April 2002 through April 2004 we conducted weekly surveys of streams in the metropolitan Baltimore, Md., area for the prevalence of potentially pathogenic E. coli by using PCR assays targeting the tir and stx(1) and stx(2) genes. Coliforms testing positive for the presence of the tir gene were cultured from 653 of 1,218 samples (53%), with a greater prevalence associated with urban, polluted streams than in suburban and forested watershed streams. Polluted urban streams were also more likely to test positive for the presence of one of the stx genes. Sequence analysis of the tir amplicon, as well as the entire tir gene from three isolates, indicated that the pathogenic E. coli present in the stream waters has a high degree of sequence homology with the E. coli O157:H7 serotype. Our data indicate that pathogenic E. coli are continually deposited into a variety of stream habitats and suggest that this organism may be a permanent member of the gastrointestinal microflora of humans and animals in the metropolitan Baltimore area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.71.5.2511-2519.2005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1087540PMC
May 2005

Estimation of viable Escherichia coli O157 in surface waters using enrichment in conjunction with immunological detection.

J Microbiol Methods 2004 Aug;58(2):223-31

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Environmental Microbial Safety Laboratory, Building 173, BARC-East, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350, USA.

The use of a minimal lactose enrichment broth (MLB) in conjunction with immunomagnetic electrochemiluminescence detection (IM-ECL) was evaluated for the estimation of viable Escherichia coli O157 populations in surface water samples. In principle, E. coli O157 populations (C(initial E. coli O157)) can be derived from enrichment data according to the equation: C(initial E. coli O157) = C(initial coliforms) x C(final E. coli O157)/C(final coliforms)), assuming that the growth rates and lag times of water-borne E. coli O157 and collective coliforms are sufficiently comparable, or at least consistent. We have previously described a protocol for determining C(final E. coli O157) in MLB-enriched water samples. In the present study, 80% of coliforms (red/pink colonies on MacConkey Agar) grew in MLB, indicating that this provides reasonably accurate estimates of C(initial coliforms). Estimates of C(final coliforms) were determined from turbidity data. Initial E. coli O157 populations (C(initial E. coli O157)) were calculated for 33 Baltimore watershed samples giving a positive IM-ECL response. The majority of samples contained E. coli O157 concentrations of < 1 cell per 100 ml. These data indicate that E. coli O157 are present in surface water samples but at very low levels. Growth rates for MLB-enriched coliforms were highly variable (k= 0.47 +/- 0.13 h(-1), n= 72). There was no correlation between growth rates and any measured water parameter, suggesting that coliform populations in water samples are spatially and temporally unique. Although variability in growth rates was expected to yield some low values, the fact that most E. coli O157 concentrations were < 1 suggests that other factor(s) were also responsible. Studies with E. coli O157:H7 and wild-type E. coli suggest that increased lag times due to starvation were at least partially responsible for the observed data. Based on estimates of C(initial coliforms) and k(coliforms), MLB was evaluated for sensitivity and quantitativeness. Simulated populations of E. coli O157:H7 at stationary phase varied from ca. 10(3) to 10(8) cells ml(-1) enrichment culture. Although not suitable for quantitation, MLB enrichment in conjunction with IM-ECL can detect as few as one viable water-borne E. coli O157 cell per 100 ml surface water. Experiments are in progress to evaluate alternative media for sensitivity and quantitative detection of enterohemorrhagic E. coli.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mimet.2004.03.017DOI Listing
August 2004

Evaluation of parameters affecting quantitative detection of Escherichia coli O157 in enriched water samples using immunomagnetic electrochemiluminescence.

J Microbiol Methods 2003 Dec;55(3):717-25

Environmental Microbial Safety Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, ARS Bldg. 173, BARC-East, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350, USA.

We report here the use of immunomagnetic (IM) electrochemiluminescence (ECL) for quantitative detection of Esherichia coli O157:H7 in water samples following enrichment in minimal lactose broth (MLB). IM beads prepared in-house with four commercial anti-O157 monoclonal antibodies were compared for efficiency of cell capture. IM-ECL responses for E. coli O157:H7 (strain SEA13B88) were similar for all four commercial anti-O157 LPS monoclonal antibodies. The ECL signal was linearly correlated with E. coli O157:H7 cell concentration, indicating a constant ECL response per cell. Twenty-two strains of E. coli O157:H7 or O157:NM gave comparable ECL signals using IM beads prepared in-house. To assess the potential for interference from background bacteria in MLB-enriched water samples, 10(4) cells of E. coli O157:H7 (strain SEA13B88) were added to enriched samples prior to analysis. There was considerable variability in recovery of E. coli O157:H7 cells; net ECL signals ranged from 1% to 100% of expected values (i.e., percent inhibition from 0% to 99%). Cultures of Klebsiella pneumoniae, Klebsiella oxytoca, and Enterobacter cloacae, subsequently isolated from MLB-enriched water samples via IM separation (IMS), were observed to interfere with the binding of E. coli O157:H7 cells to IM beads. Recoveries of 10(4) E. coli O157:H7 cells were
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mimet.2003.07.004DOI Listing
December 2003

Titanocene(III)-promoted Reformatsky additions.

Org Lett 2003 Oct;5(20):3615-7

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California 93106-9510, USA.

[reaction: see text] A novel method for the promotion of Reformatsky-like reactions is presented. The technique employs titanocene(III) chloride as a mild and homogeneous single-electron reductant. The reactions are rapid, operationally simple, and compatible with a wide range of functionalities. These additions are also anti diastereoselective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ol035269cDOI Listing
October 2003

A handheld real time thermal cycler for bacterial pathogen detection.

Biosens Bioelectron 2003 Aug;18(9):1115-23

Animal Waste Pathogen Laboratory USDA-ARS, Room 202, Building 173, 10300 Baltimore Boulevard, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.

The handheld advanced nucleic acid analyzer (HANAA) is a portable real time thermal cycler unit that weighs under 1 kg and uses silicon and platinum-based thermalcycler units to conduct rapid heating and cooling of plastic reaction tubes. Two light emitting diodes (LED) provide greater than 1 mW of electrical power at wavelengths of 490 nm (blue) and 525 nm (green), allowing detection of the dyes FAM and JOE/TAMRA. Results are displayed in real time as bar graphs, and up to three, 4-sample assays can be run on the charge of the 12 V portable battery pack. The HANAA was evaluated for detection of defined Escherichia coli strains, and wild-type colonies isolated from stream water, using PCR for the lac Z and Tir genes. PCR reactions using SYBR Green dye allowed detection of E. coli ATCC 11775 and E. coli O157:H7 cells in under 30 min of assay time; however, background fluorescence associated with dye binding to nonspecific PCR products was present. DNA extracted from three isolates of Bacillus anthracis Ames, linked to a bioterrorism incident in Washington DC in October 2001, were also successfully tested on the HANAA using primers for the vrrA and capA genes. Positive results were observed at 32 and 22 min of assay time, respectively. A TaqMan probe specific to the aroQ gene of Erwinia herbicola was tested on the HANAA and when 500 cells were used as template, positive results were observed after only 7 min of assay time. Background fluorescence associated with the use of the probe was negligible. The HANAA is unique in offering real time PCR in a handheld format suitable for field use; a commercial version of the instrument, offering six reaction chambers, is available as of Fall 2002.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0956-5663(02)00252-xDOI Listing
August 2003
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