Detection of Coliforms in Drinking Water Using Skin Patches: A Rapid, Reliable Method that Does Not Require an External Energy Source

Sehee Nam Water Analysis and Research Center, K-water, Daejeon, Republic of Korea; Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Hoengseong, Gangwon, Republic of Korea

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Min-jeong Kim Water Analysis and Research Center, K-water, Daejeon, Republic of Korea; Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Hoengseong, Gangwon, Republic of Korea

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MinSun Park Water Analysis and Research Center, K-water, Daejeon, Republic of Korea; Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Hoengseong, Gangwon, Republic of Korea

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Nuri Kim Water Analysis and Research Center, K-water, Daejeon, Republic of Korea; Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Hoengseong, Gangwon, Republic of Korea

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Yu-jin Lee Water Analysis and Research Center, K-water, Daejeon, Republic of Korea; Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Hoengseong, Gangwon, Republic of Korea

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Gyu-Cheol Lee Water Analysis and Research Center, K-water, Daejeon, Republic of Korea; Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Hoengseong, Gangwon, Republic of Korea

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The detection of coliforms requires incubation in a laboratory, generally powered using electricity. In many parts of the developing world, however, external energy sources such as electricity are not readily available. To develop a fast, reliable method for detecting coliforms in water without an external energy source, we assessed the efficacy of six test kits for the identification of coliforms in water samples. To assess the possibility of using body temperature as the sole source of heat for incubation, bacterial samples were then mixed with the enzymatic test kit reagent and attached to the human body surface using a patch system. The patches were attached to the bodies of volunteers for 24 hours and the practicality and accuracy of the patches were assessed. Coliforms were detected within 24 hours in all patches. This innovation will facilitate the testing of water quality by researchers and by economically disadvantaged people without electricity.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Gyu-Cheol Lee, Part of Microbiology Research, Water Analysis and Research Center, K-water, 560 Sintanjin-ro, Daedeok-gu, Daejeon 306-711, Republic of Korea. E-mail: gclee@kwater.or.kr

Financial support: This research was supported by K-water, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

Authors' addresses: Sehee Nam, Min-jeong Kim, Yu-jin Lee, and Gyu-Cheol Lee, Department of Microbiology Research, K-water, Daejeon, Republic of Korea, E-mails: nidula@kwater.or.kr, herbej@kwater.or.kr, dohwoa@kwater.or.kr, and gclee@kwater.or.kr. MinSun Park and Nuri Kim, Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Anheung-myeon, Hoengseong-gun, Gangwon, Republic of Korea, E-mails: alstjstlsdud@naver.com and nurihappy@gmail.com.

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