IIT Kanpur develops cheap E.coli water testing kit

Kanpur, June 20 (IANS)  Scientists at the Indian school of Technology (IIT) Kanpur have created a new water testing kit that is very sensitive and can find E.coli in drinking water, the school announced on Monday.

Escherichia coli, or E. coli, is a type of bacteria that usually lives in the guts of animals and people who are healthy. Some strains of E. coli can cause serious stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. Most strains are harmless.

For the most part, the kit works correctly, and it is very easy to use. That it is inexpensive, very accurate, and technologically superior to similar kits on the market right now, according to the experts who confirmed its effectiveness in Odisha field tests.

“This E.coli water testing kit will definitely come in handy for checking for E.coli and cleaning up dirty water.” “The product’s low cost and high accuracy will give it the edge it needs in the market, and it will serve as a model for the Make in India program,” said Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur, in a statement.

The test is done with vials that have already been made and are full of chemicals. A gel that has chemicals in it is used for 24 hours before the reading.

The method uses a growing medium that is only for E. coli bacteria and looks for a marker enzyme that the E. coli bacteria make.

A simple method and a change in color caused by the enzyme-substrate interaction can tell you if drinking water is contaminated with bacteria or not.

The kit can only find biomarkers released by E. coli bacteria; it will not change color when other bacteria that are common in tropical soil or water are present. The team said that this test does not give false results because it depends on the type of water source and the fact that bacteria are naturally found in tropical soil.

As a result, the kit should completely change the way low-cost E. coli tests are done. Currently, H2S presence/absence tests are used to find bacteria that make hydrogen sulfide, but they often give false-positive results.

Along with the test kit, there is a digital platform called the EarthFace Flow Android app that can be used to record, analyze, and share data with all users and their stakeholders.

The app meets the needs of the Jal Jeevan Mission for sharing data with the NIC platforms. It has a simple, easy-to-use interface and is built on cutting-edge IT infrastructure. The data from the kits gives accurate, unchangeable results that can be sent automatically to users for water and program-related reports.

Soon, you will be able to buy the kit on e-commerce sites and the GeM page. A pack of two E. coli will cost Rs 199. The institute said it would sell water testing kits and a user handbook. The price will likely go down even more as the business grows, the institute said.

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