Waterborne diseases have emerged as global health problems and their rapid and sensitive detection in environmental water samples is of great importance. Bacterial identification and enumeration in water samples is significant as it helps to maintain safe drinking water for public consumption. Culture-based methods are laborious, time-consuming, and yield false-positive results, whereas viable but nonculturable (VBNCs) microorganisms cannot be recovered. Hence, numerous methods have been developed for rapid detection and quantification of waterborne pathogenic bacteria in water. These rapid methods can be classified into nucleic acid-based, immunology-based, and biosensor-based detection methods. This review summarizes the principle and current state of rapid methods for the monitoring and detection of waterborne bacterial pathogens. Rapid methods outlined are polymerase chain reaction (PCR), digital droplet PCR, real-time PCR, multiplex PCR, DNA microarray, Next-generation sequencing (pyrosequencing, Illumina technology and genomics), and fluorescence in situ hybridization that are categorized as nucleic acid-based methods. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunofluorescence are classified into immunology-based methods. Optical, electrochemical, and mass-based biosensors are grouped into biosensor-based methods. Overall, these methods are sensitive, specific, time-effective, and important in prevention and diagnosis of waterborne bacterial diseases.
© 2016 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.