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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Oct;66(10):4571-4.

A PCR assay To discriminate human and ruminant feces on the basis of host differences in Bacteroides-Prevotella genes encoding 16S rRNA.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97330, USA.


Our purpose was to develop a rapid, inexpensive method of diagnosing the source of fecal pollution in water. In previous research, we identified Bacteroides-Prevotella ribosomal DNA (rDNA) PCR markers based on analysis. These markers length heterogeneity PCR and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism distinguish cow from human feces. Here, we recovered 16S rDNA clones from natural waters that were close phylogenetic relatives of the markers. From the sequence data, we designed specific PCR primers that discriminate human and ruminant sources of fecal contamination.

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