Resource constrained countries identified as endemic zones for pathogenicity of Salmonella bear an economic burden due to recurring expenditure on medical treatment. qPCR used for Salmonella detection could not discriminate between viable and nonviable cells. Propidium monoazide (PMA) that selectively penetrates nonviable cells to cross-link their DNA, was coupled with ttr gene specific qPCR for quantifying viable salmonellae in source/potable waters collected from a north Indian city. Source water (raw water for urban potable water supply) and urban potable water exhibited viable salmonellae in the range of 2.1×104-2.6×106and 2-7160CFU/100mL, respectively. Potable water at water works exhibited DNA from dead cells but no viable cells were detected. PMA assisted qPCR could specifically detect low numbers of live salmonellae in Source and potable waters. This strategy can be used in surveillance of urban potable water distribution networks to map contamination points for better microbial risk management. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
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