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Environ Sci Technol. 2009 Jan 15;43(2):423-8.

Novel use of a whole cell E. coli bioreporter as a urinary exposure biomarker.

Author information

  • 1School of Biosciences, Hatherly Laboratories, University of Exeter, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, UK. c.n.lewis@exeter.ac.uk

Abstract

Bacterial bioreporters have substantial potential for contaminant assessment but their real world application is currently impaired by a lack of sensitivity. Here, we exploit the bioconcentration of chemicals in the urine of animals to facilitate pollutant detection. The shore crab Carcinus maenas was exposed to the organic contaminant 2-hydroxybiphenyl, and urine was screened using an Escherichia coli-based luciferase gene (luxAB) reporter assay specific to this compound. Bioassay measurements differentiated between the original contaminant and its metabolites, quantifying bioconcentration factors of up to one hundred-fold in crab urine. Our results reveal the substantial potential of using bacterial bioreporter assays in real-time monitoring of biological matricesto determine exposure histories, with wide ranging potential for the in situ measurement of xenobiotics in risk assessments and epidemiology.

PMID:
19238974
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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