Source: PURDUE UNIVERSITY submitted to
THE ENVIRONMENTAL PATHOGENS INFORMATION NETWORK (EPINET)
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0201683
Grant No.
2004-51130-02256
Project No.
IND010895G
Proposal No.
2005-05205
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
110.A
Project Start Date
Sep 15, 2004
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2009
Grant Year
2005
Project Director
Turco, R. F.
Recipient Organization
PURDUE UNIVERSITY
(N/A)
WEST LAFAYETTE,IN 47907
Performing Department
AGRONOMY
Non Technical Summary
The challenges associated with managing microbial contamination of water resources and the roles that science plays in addressing those challenges are at the forefront of water policy discussions across the country. In a recent review of the literature Smith and Perdek, (2004) concluded, "a significant body of research is needed to understand the uncertainties in pathogenic [microorganism] processes at the watershed scale." The overarching goal of EPINet is to develop and then transfer the fullest possible understanding of how microbial pathogens enter into and then function in watersheds so that we can properly manage and prevent the spread of microorganisms (and the diseases they cause).
Animal Health Component
(N/A)
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
100%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
1120210110025%
1330210110025%
1330210110325%
1334099107025%
Goals / Objectives
2004-04629. 1)In conjunction with our management group, develop a nationally representative science board consisting of members from government, academic, and private sector organizations. a)Working with USDA-ARS, EPA, land-grant, and public and private sector individuals to formulate the science board that will form one-third of the base of EPINet, b) Develop a robust and useable internet resource to provide information and allow rapid communication. 2)Also in conjunction with our management group, develop a nationally representative stakeholders group consisting of members from private and small government (cities and towns), landuse planners, teachers, extension educators and other organizations impacted by biocriteria TMDLs. a)Working with USDA-ARS, EPA, land-grant, and public and private sector individuals to formulate the stakeholder group that will form the second third of EPINet management. 3)Mine existing environmental microbiology (e.g., E. coli) data and information available in both the refereed literature and state and federal resources to: a)Create an on-line interactive information repository, b) Working with the technical group, develop synthesis documents addressing methods and data interpretation, c)Facilitate data sharing resulting in a level of common knowledge that will aid the ongoing discussions, d) Catalog best management practices (success stories), e) Provide a common knowledge base and reference points for public discussion. 4) Using input from our boards, the management group will integrate science and stakeholder values within the regulatory framework : a)Use the information mined from the literature to create synthesis documents that will serve to establish the background knowledge for workshop participations and others, b) Hold workshops and working group meetings to discuss and formulate a common vocabulary/definitions, methods, data needs, and issues related to microbial pathogens in the environment and frame the national education network, c)Provide input to the biocriteria TMDL process to address the technical complexities and to successfully engage stakeholders so that effective use is made of the TMDL tool meeting the objectives of the Clean Water Act (CWA), d)Where shortcomings in our knowledge base are discovered frame the national research agenda.
Project Methods
Over the four year project two general types of workshops are proposed and indicated in this section: specific and general. EPINet specific workshops are designed to concentrate the efforts of the EPINet core on a specific theme. By keeping attendance small, we anticipate an efficient use of time to for development of new program areas. EPINet general workshops, on the other hand, will be held in large venues. The EPINet general workshops are intended for the widest possible audience and will be advertised in the technical trade literature. Depending on the location we may charge a small registration fee to offset some of the costs. From our work three types of publication will result: A major technical publication, an educational offering (high school level) and smaller homeowner-friendly extension materials. The extension documents will be drawn from the technical efforts and both will be available on the website. We will create a collaborative education and outreach effort to facilitate a widespread understanding of the environmental behavior of microorganisms in the environment. We define the outreach mission as the application of instruction, information, and research results to the direct benefit of audiences internal and external to the actual EPINet membership with an eye towards using our efforts to provide better, faster and more accurate methods. Our outreach/education plan creates a mechanism for developing an increased understanding, among the general public, on the fate and behavior of microorganism in the environment. We will empower people by providing them with the knowledge needed to make sound decisions about environmental issues associated with the presence of pathogens in their environment. Our outreach program is designed to translate findings: to provide the tools to enlighten citizens and provide for lifelong education; to support an informed and orderly public policy debate and development; to provide for effective, productive organizations, groups, and communities; to support the development of educated professionals (elected officials and media).

Progress 09/15/04 to 08/31/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The project established a foundation for collaborative education and outreach efforts to facilitate a widespread understanding of the environmental behavior of pathogenic microorganism in the environment. We developed a series of workshops: (1) Microbial Source Tracking Workshop, the goal was to provide an overview of the available methods for MST. (2) E. coli at the beach, the objective was to provide current information to professionals working on pathogens and E. coli as part of a beach monitoring program. (3) Microbial Source Tracking, the purpose was to discuss the applications of Microbial Source Tracking (MST) for pathogen detection to help increase the health of our water bodies by decreasing the numbers of E. coli and possibly other enteric organisms (pathogens). (4) "Use of Indicators for Monitoring Microbial Water Quality: A Hands on Experience", the objective was to provide current information on methods for recovery and tracking for professionals working in the area of biocriteria water monitoring. (5) "Use of Indicators for Monitoring Microbial Water Quality: A Hands on Experience". Since the previous "hands on" workshop was a huge success, we develop a similar workshop adding cutting edge water monitoring techniques such as q-PCR. EPI-Net has also been coordinating symposia at the CSREES National Water Quality Conference since 2006: (1) Waterborne Pathogens; (2) Microbial Source Tracking, the purpose was to provide fundamental understanding of the principles and applications of modern approach to MST as well as to evaluate how current methodologies are applied to watersheds applications. (3) Cyanobacteria and Water Quality, the purpose was to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the role water manager's play in controlling cyanobacteria. The panel covered the ecology and the factors that may lead to a Cyanobacteria bloom. (4) Protozoan Water Pathogens: Cryptosporidium and Giardia, the objective was to provide an overall this discussion provided a comprehensive evaluation of cryptosporidium and giardia, the disease they cause, detection methods and current surveillance plans. Each workshop and symposiums included a case study session that enhanced discussion among participants about current issues and provided solutions and ideas for some of the existing water quality concerns. The workshops had a great impact on the attendees; they were set up as a class and the participants were from different government agencies (EPA, USDA, USGS and IDEM), universities and other non profit environmental organizations. Evaluations at the end of the workshops were great, participants found these workshops very useful for their research and professional careers. It also enhanced communication of methods and data exchange between scientist, health departments and other agencies. We also presented a poster about at various meetings: Center for the Environment Spring Conference - Purdue University (April 2006), Indiana Resources Association Meeting - Purdue University (June 2006), Indiana River Rally Conference - Purdue University (July 2007), Latino Scholar Forum - Purdue University (September 2007) PARTICIPANTS: EPI-Net had a number of collaborators. Our external science advisors committee included: Dr. Von Sigler (Assistant Professor of Environmental Microbiology at the University of Toledo, OH.), Dr. Mike Sadowsky (Professor in the Department of Soil, Water and Climate (SWAC) at the University of Minnesota) and Dr. Rachel Noble (Assistant Professor in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of North Carolina). In conjunction with the EPA Region 5 in Chicago IL we coordinated a Microbial Source Tracking workshop at their facilities in Chicago, IL; we worked with Holliday Wirick and David Rockwell. We also held both "hands on training" in conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survey Microbiology Laboratory from Colombus, OH. There we worked with: Dr. Francy, Dr. Stoeckel, Rebecca, N. Bushon, Amie Brady and Chris Kephart as well as Dr. Von Sigler from University of Toledo and Dr. Keya Sen from the US EPA in Cincinnati. We also helped developed an outreach component for food safety related to water in conjunction with the Food Science Department at Purdue University. We worked with Dr. Linton, Dr. Rehus, and Dr. Applegate. We also worked on a book chapter to be part of a book entitled: The Fecal Indicator Bacteria, edited by Dr. Mike Sadowsky- University of Minnesota and Dr. Richard Withman- USGS for ASM Press. Our contributions were summarized in a chapter entitled: Taxonomy, Phylogeny and Physiology of Fecal Indicator Bacteria. The authors of the chapter are: Militza Carrero-Colon, Dr. Gene Wickam and Dr. Ron Turco all from Purdue University. TARGET AUDIENCES: EPI-Net target audience are, but not limited to: professionals with various levels of experience working in the area of water protections, particularly those actively involved in the areas related to health and water. Examples are: Consultants, Government officials, Water Scientists, Ecologists, Environmental Scientists, Beach coordinators, beach managers and others in related areas. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: During the course of this project we did not have major modifications with the exception of the addition of the Spanish version of the website with the purpose to expand accessibility.

Impacts
The project established a foundation for collaborative education and outreach efforts to facilitate a widespread understanding of the environmental behavior of pathogenic microorganism in the environment. We developed a series of workshops: (1) Microbial Source Tracking,the goal was to provide an overview of the available methods for MST. (2) E. coli at the beach, the objective was to provide current information to professionals working on pathogens and E. coli as part of a beach monitoring program. (3) Microbial Source Tracking, the purpose was to discuss the applications of Microbial Source Tracking (MST) for pathogen detection to help increase the health of our water bodies by decreasing the numbers of E. coli and possibly other enteric organisms (pathogens). (4)Use of Indicators for Monitoring Microbial Water Quality: A Hands on Experience, the objective was to provide current information on methods for recovery and tracking for professionals working in the area of biocriteria water monitoring. (5)Use of Indicators for Monitoring Microbial Water Quality: A Hands on Experience. Since the previous hands on workshop was a huge success, we develop a similar workshop adding cutting edge water monitoring techniques such as q-PCR. EPI-Net has also been coordinating symposia at the CSREES National Water Quality Conference since 2006:(1) Waterborne Pathogens; (2) Microbial Source Tracking, the purpose was to provide fundamental understanding of the principles and applications of modern approach to MST as well as to evaluate how current methodologies are applied to watersheds applications.(3) Cyanobacteria and Water Quality, the purpose was to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the role water managers play in controlling cyanobacteria. The panel covered the ecology and the factors that may lead to a Cyanobacteria bloom. (4) Protozoan Water Pathogens: Cryptosporidium and Giardia, the objective was to provide an overall this discussion provided a comprehensive evaluation of cryptosporidium and giardia, the disease they cause, detection methods and current surveillance plans. Each workshop and symposiums included a case study session that enhanced discussion among participants about current issues and provided solutions and ideas for some of the existing water quality concerns. The workshops had a great impact on the attendees; they were set up as a class and the participants were from different government agencies (EPA, USDA, USGS and IDEM), universities and other non profit environmental organizations. Evaluations at the end of the workshops were great, participants found these workshops very useful for their research and professional careers. It also enhanced communication of methods and data exchange between scientist, health departments and other agencies. We also presented a poster about at various meetings: Center for the Environment Spring Conference - Purdue University (April 2006), Indiana Resources Association Meeting - Purdue University (June 2006), Indiana River Rally Conference - Purdue University (July 2007), Latino Scholar Forum - Purdue University (September 2007).

Publications

  • Carrero-Colón M. and R.F. Turco, 2007. What is E. coli (http://www.epi-net.org/eng/Epinet_Perspectives_Vol_1_Issue_3.pdf)
  • Carrero-Colón M. and R.F. Turco, 2007. Role of indicators on pathogen detection (http://www.epi-net.org/eng/IndicatorPathogensBy30Nov.pdf)
  • Carrero-Colón M. and R.F. Turco, 2007. Tracking Microbial Pathogens (http://www.epi-net.org/eng/Tracking.pdf)
  • Carrero-Colón M. and R.F. Turco, 2008. Bacteria in Biosolids and Manure http://www.ag.purdue.edu/foodsci/Documents/publications/produce/mod2e n/index
  • Carrero-Colón M. and R.F. Turco, 2008. Bacteria in Water Supplies for Agriculture http://www.ag.purdue.edu/foodsci/Documents/publications/produce/mod3e n/index.htm
  • Turco R.F, and M. Carrero-Colon. 2008. The Role of Soil in Food Safety http://www.ag.purdue.edu/foodsci/Documents/publications/produce/mod4e n/index.htm


Progress 10/01/07 to 09/30/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: EPI-Net continued host on workshops and develop information packages. We hosted an EPI-Net symposium at the CSREES Water Quality Meeting 2008 in Sparks, Nevada, February 3 - February 7. The topic of the symposium was Cyanobacteria and Water Quality. The purpose was to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the role water managers' play in controlling cyanobacteria. The panel covered the ecology and the factors that may lead to a Cyanobacteria bloom. Careful planning and management practices will help to limit the repetition of blooms and the goal of this series of talks was to provide information to allow this to occur. The speakers: Dr. Ron Turco - Purdue University, Dr. Ken Hudnell- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Chapel Hill, NC, Dr. Jennifer Graham - U.S. Geological Survey, Lawrence, KS discussed the topics of: cyanobacteria and its toxins, cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms, importance of cyanobacteria toxins to recreational and drinking water quality, cyanobacteria detection methods and human health effects. We also held an EPI-Net's workshop on "Use of Indicators for Monitoring Microbial Water Quality: A Hands on Experience" in Columbus, OH on April 11, 2008. The purpose of this hands-on workshop was to provide current information on methods for recovery and tracking for professionals working in the area of biocriteria water monitoring. The workshop was unique in that it was conducted as a hands-on exercise. By the end of the workshop, participants had working knowledge of the principal methods used in assessment of microbiology and water quality. The speakers: Dr. Von Sigler - University of Toledo, Rebecca N. Bushon -USGS, Amie Brady - USGS, Dr. Don Stoeckel - USGS and Chris Kephart - USGS discussed the topics of: Overview of recreational water regulations, Analytical methods for bacterial indicators, Microbiological sample collection methods, Pathogens and alternate indicators, Quality assurance and quality control procedures, Rapid methods and microbial source tracking concepts. PARTICIPANTS: EPI-Net held a "hands on training" in conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survey Microbiology Laboratory from Colombus, OH. There we worked with: Dr. Stoeckel, Rebecca, N. Bushon, Amie Brady and Chris Kephart as well as Dr. Von Sigler from University of Toledo. We also helped developed an outreach component for food safety related to water in conjunction with the Food Science Department at Purdue University. We worked with Dr. Linton, Dr. Rehus, and Dr. Applegate. TARGET AUDIENCES: EPI-Net target audience are, but not limited to: professionals with various levels of experience working in the area of water protections, particularly those actively involved in the areas related to health and water. Examples are: Consultants, Government officials, Water Scientists, Ecologists, Environmental Scientists, Beach coordinators, beach managers and others in related areas. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
Epi-net mission is to help the general public understand the science behind the development, use and possible environmental consequences of pathogenic bacteria in the environment. Water pathogens have a huge effect not only on the health of humans but also in the environment. Bacterial Pathogens that release toxins into water such as Cyanobacteria have become of greater interest because, although there is an immense amount of literature about it, doesn't seem to have as big as an impact as other pathogens such as E. coli. Cyanobacteria are of particular interest because they produce toxins that are released and can be lethal to pets and humans. Other harmful water pathogens are parasitic protozoa. These are also of special interest because of their low dose infection and their ability to thrive in harsh environments. EPI-Net would increase awareness and interest on these microorganisms in order to will better inform our citizens of the problems associated with Cyanobacteria and Parasitic Protozoans and most important provide prevention approaches.

Publications

  • Peer Reviewed Extension Publications (Outreach Modules) to be included in the Purdue University - Food Science Department website.Carrero-Colon, M and R. Turco. Bacteria in Biosolids & Manure, 2008; Carrero-Colon, M and R. Turco. Bacteria in Water supplies for agriculture, 2008; Carrero-Colon, M and R. Turco. The role of soil in food biosafety, 2008


Progress 10/01/06 to 09/30/07

Outputs
OUTPUTS: EPI-Net continued to hold workshops and develop information packages. We held EPI-Net second symposium at the CSREES Water Quality Meeting January 28, 2007 in Savannah, Georgia. The topic of the symposium was Microbial Source tracking. The purpose was to provide fundamental understanding of the principles and applications of modern approach to Microbial Source Tracking as well as to evaluate how current methodologies are applied to watersheds applications. The speakers: Dr. Ron Turco - Purdue University, Dr. Von Sigler - University of Toledo, Dr. Nancy White - University of North Carolina and Dr. Jodi Hardwood - University of South Florida discussed the topics of: Indicators and pathogens in the environment and microbial source tracking methodology. We held EPI-Net's second workshop on E. coli at the beach in Merrillville, IN on February 2, 2007. The purpose of this workshop was to provide current information to professionals working on pathogens and E. coli as part of a beach monitoring program. The speakers: Dr. Ron Turco - Purdue University, Dr. Von Sigler - University of Toledo, Dr. Richard Whitman - USGS, Rebecca N. Bushon - USGS, Holiday Wirick - EPA, David C. Rockwell - EPA and Christine Livingston - Save the Dunes Conservation Fund, discussed the topics of: Pollution at the beach, Monitoring of recreational waters, Methods for pathogen detection and government regulations. We held EPI-Net's third workshop on Microbial Source Tracking in Chicago, IL on September 14, 2007. The purpose of this workshop was to discuss the applications of Microbial Source Tracking (MST) for pathogen detection to help increase the health of our water bodies (beaches) by decreasing the numbers of E. coli and possibly other enteric organisms (pathogens). The speakers: Dr. Ron Turco - Purdue University, Rebecca Bushon - USGS, Dr. Jorge Santo Domingo - EPA, Dr. Von Sigler - Toledo University, Dr. Mike Sadowsky - University of Minnesota and Dr. Julie Kinzelman - Racine Health Department, discussed the topics of: Pathogens in the environment, Methods for pathogen detection and Microbial source tracking methods and applications. PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Von Sigler - University of Toledo, OH Dr. Jodi Hardwood- University of South Florida, FL Dr. Richard Whitman - USGS, IN Rebecca N. Bushon - USGS, OH Holiday Wirick - EPA, IL David C. Rockwell - EPA, IL Christine Livingston - Save the Dunes Conservation Fund, IN Dr. Jorge Santo Doming - EPA, OH Dr. Mike Sadowsky - University of Minnesota, MN Dr. Julie Kinzelman - Racine Health Department, WI Workshops for training and professional development Microbial Source Tracking Symposium at the 2007 CREES-USDA Water Conference E. coli at the beach workshop Microbial Source Tracking Workshop TARGET AUDIENCES: The efforts from our project are usually designed for professionals in the areas of water protection, particularly those working on the areas related to health and water such as: consultants, government officials, water scientists, ecologists, environmental scientist, beach coordinators, beach managers and other in related areas. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: We have started to translate our website pages to Spanish with the purpose of expand accessibility.

Impacts
Epi-net's mission is to help the general public interpret and understand the science behind the methods used to detect bacterial pathogens in the environmental. We remain concentrated on water pathogens as they have a huge effect not only on the health of humans but also on the long-term use of the water supply. This issue is most evident for Cyanobacteria, a water borne bacterial pathogens that can releases toxins into water; cyanotoxins can effect humans and other animals and appears to be occurring at a much higher frequency than in the past. Of late, there has been a greater interest in these bacteria as well as the more commonly studied pathogens such as E. coli. In the coming year EPI-Net will branch out to fully consider the fate and behavior of Cyanobacteria, Staphylococcus as well as continuing to work on core issues related to E. coli. It is our goal to increase awareness and interest in all remediation strategies for any environmental pathogens but we are now concentrating on problems associated with emerging organisms such as Cyanobacteria.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 10/01/05 to 09/30/06

Outputs
EPI-Net is now fully functional. The overarching goal of EPINet is to develop and then transfer the fullest possible understanding of how microbial pathogens enter into and then function in watersheds so that we can properly manage and prevent the spread of microorganisms (and the diseases they cause). To reach that goal we have developed a series of workshops and information packages. The first EPI-Net workshop - Microbial Source Tracking Workshop was held in Indianapolis, IN (July 2006). The goal was to provide an overview of the available methods for MST. The speakers, Dr. Ron Turco-Purdue University and Dr. Mike Sadowsky-University of Minnesota discussed the topics of: pathogens in the environment, survival of pathogens and indicators in the environment and microbial source tracking methodology, uses and applications. We had participants from different government agencies (EPA, USGS, IDEM), universities and other non profit environmental organizations. We are now planning our Second workshop - E. coli at the beach in Merrillville, IN for December 1, 2006. The purpose of this workshop is to provide current information to professionals working on pathogen and E. coli as part of a beach monitoring program. We are planning our second national effort half day program at the CSREES Water Quality Meeting 2007 in Savannah, Georgia, January 28 - February 1 and are planning 3 more major workshops for next year. We are developing the EPI-Net Library which will be an extended literature search of both gray and published literature related to pathogens in the environment. References are available as part of the website. The purpose of this library is to centralize and facilitate literature searching for researches, students, faculty etc. Hired half time web- developers will take care of the epi-net website as well as to take care of the graphics, brochures and advertisements. Our website www.epi-net.org has been revised since it was first launched last year. We have added an E.coli in the news section. In development is a directory of pathogens researchers in the U.S Search of pathogen researchers in the U.S. to generate a directory/map to be available in epi-net website. Also we are developing an EPI-Net Glossary which is a collection of words used on the epi-net website and short publications. Two more external science advisors: Dr. Mike Sadowsky (Professor in the Department of Soil, Water and Climate (SWAC) at the University of Minnesota) and Dr. Rachel Noble (Assistant Professor in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of North Carolina)have joined this project.

Impacts
Epi-net helps the general public understand the science and possible environmental consequences of pathogenic bacteria in the environment. The purpose of this information network is to provide the scientific and user communities with a centralized source of information about environmental pathogens, in a way that benefits the scientific regulatory community. Epi-Net will also better inform our citizens of the problems associated with pathogens and provides prevention approaches.

Publications

  • Carrero-Colon, M. and R. Turco 2006. www.epi-net.org (web site)