Microbial Contaminants Control Branch
The Microbial Contaminants Control Branch (MCCB) is part of the the Water Supply and Water Resources Division of the Office of Research and Development's National Risk Management Research Laboratory's (NRMRL). MCCB addresses areas of investigation that align with NRMRL's mission and the overarching strategic plan of the Office of Research and Development.
MCCB conducts research at the bench, pilot and field-scale focusing on the detection, disinfection, inactivation or otherwise control of microbial contaminants (pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and protozoa) in drinking water, wastewater biosolids and water bodies impaired due to fecal contamination. MCCB scientists have pioneered the application of both cultural and molecular techniques to the issues of environmental microbiology and public health protection. MCCB researchers are helping set the national research agenda in the development and use of genetic markers specific for a range of animals and birds that allow for the identification of the sources of fecal contamination in environmental waters. Using state-of-the-art genomic technologies, MCCB is leading the Agency’s efforts in studying the molecular ecology of microbial communities in such diverse environments as human and animal fecal samples, drinking water distribution system biofilms, groundwaters used for sequestering carbon dioxide and corroded pipe surfaces. MCCB researchers take pride in providing technical assistance to the Office of Water, the EPA Regions and other federal agencies, states, and local governments.
Key research areas:
- Distribution Systems
- Source Characterization and Control
- Treatment Technologies
- Wastewater Biosolids
MCCB researchers aim to provide results for stakeholders, such as utilities and state primacy agencies, in order to better inform decision makers on water management issues. We strive to develop innovative treatments and tools that will incorporate new and innovative ideas for sustaining the nation's water resources. To conduct our research, we are centered in and utilize EPA's Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center, a highly specialized water research facility located in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Research Area (s)
Principal Investigator (s)
|Inactivation of Francisella tularenis||Distribution System||Noreen Adcock|
|Chlorine Disinfection of Legionella spp. within an Amoeba Host||Distribution Systems||Laura Boczek & Cliff Johnson|
|Recovery of Bacteria Indicators and Pathogens from Biosolids||Point Source Characterization and Control||Laura Boczek, Cliff Johnson, & Mark Meckes|
|Molecular Survey of Drinking Water Microbial Communities||Distribution Systems||Randy Revetta & Jorge Santo Domingo|
|Molecular Survey of Microbial Communities Involved in Concrete Corrosion in Wastewater Collection Systems||Aging Wastewater Infrastructure||Jorge Santo Domingo & Randy Revetta|
|Development and Evaluation of Molecular Methods for the Identification of Bacterial Indicators of Fecal Pollution Sources in Tropical Waters||Nonpoint Source Characterization and Control||Jorge Santo Domingo|
|Development and Evaluation of Host Specific qPCR Assays for Tracking Avian Fecal Pollution Sources||Nonpoint Source Characterization and Control; Microbial Source Tracking||Jorge Santo Domingo|
|Fate and Transport of Manure Pathogens, Fecal Indicator Bacteria, and Host-Specific Genes in Agroecosystems||Nonpoint Source Characterization and Control||Orin Shanks|
|Use of Metagenomics to Develop Novel Fecal Source Tracking Assays||Nonpoint Source Characterization and Control; Microbial Source Tracking||Orin Shanks|
- Shanks, O. C., K. White, C. A. Kelty, M. Sivaganesan, J. Blannon, M. Meckes, M. Varma, and R. A. Haughland. (2010). "Performance of PCR-based assays targeting Bacteroidales genetic markers of human fecal pollution in sewage and fecal samples." Environmental Science and Technology. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 44(16):6281-6288.
- Hayes, S. L., D. J. Lye, C. A. McKinstry, and S. J. Vesper. (2010). "Aeromonas caviae Strain Induced Th1 Cytokine Response in Mouse Intestinal Tract." Canadian Journal of Microbiology. NRC Research Press, Ottawa, Canada, 56(1):27-31.
- Ware, M. W., S. J. Augustine, D. Erishman, M. J. See, L. J. Wymer, S. L. Hayes, J. P. Dubey, and E. Villegas. (2010). "Determining UV Inactivation of Toxoplasma gondii Oocysts by Using Cell Culture and a Mouse Bioassay." Applied and Environmental Microbiology. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC, 76(15):5140-5147.
- Revetta, R. P., A. C. Pemberton, R. Lamendella, B. Iker, and J. W. Santo Domingo. (2010). "Identification of Bacterial Populations in Drinking Water Using 16S rRNA-Based Sequence Analyses." Water Research. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 44(5):1353-1360.
- Van Ginkel, S., R. Lamendella, W. P. Kovacik Jr., J. W. Santo Domingo, and B. E. Rittmann. (2010). "Microbial Community Structure during Nitrate and Perchlorate Reduction in Ion-exchange Brine Using the Hydrogen-based membrane Biofilm Reactor (MBIR)." Bioresource Technology. Elsevier Online, New York, NY, 101(10):3747-3750.
- Mondala, A. H., R. Hernandez, W. T. French, L. A. Estevez, M. C. Meckes, M. Trillo, and J. Hall. (2010). "Preozonation of primary-treated municipal wastewater for reuse in biofuel feedstock generation." Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, New York, NY, DOI: 10.1002/ep.10514.
- Adcock, N. J., E. W. Rice, M. Sivaganesan, J. D. Brown, D. E. Srallknecht, and D. E. Swayne. (2009). " The Use of Bacteriophages of the Family Cystoviridae as Surrogates for H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses in Persistence and Inactivation Studies." Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A. Marcel Dekker Incorporated, New York, NY, 44(13):1362-1366.
- Shanks, O. C., S. McLellan, S. M. Huse, and M. L. Sogin. (2010). "Characterization of Microbial Population Structures in Recreational Waters and Primary Sources of Fecal Pollution with a Next-Generation Sequencing Approach." Chapter 9 in Environmental Microbiology: Current Technology and Water Applications. ISBN: 978-1-904455-70-7. Edited by K. Sen and N. J. Ashbolt. Caister Academic Press, Norwich, Uk.
- Santo Domingo, J. W., R. Lamendella, and N. Ashbolt. (2010). "Microbial Source Tracking: Current and Future Molecular Tools in Microbial Water Quality Forensics." Chapter 10 in Environmental Microbiology: Current Technology and Water Applications. ISBN: 978-1-904455-70-7. Edited by K. Sen and N. Ashbolt. Caister Academic Press, Norwich, Uk, c. 310.
- Hayes, C., R. Aergeerts, L. Barrott, A. Becker, M. J. Benoliel, B. Croll, M. Edwards, D. Gari, E. Hoekstra, M. Jung, A. Postawa, A. Ruebel, L. Russell, M. R. Schock, N. Skubala, S. Witszak, M. Tielemans, and M. Zabochnicka-Swiatek. (2010). "Best Practice Guide on the Control of Lead in Drinking Water." ISBN: 9781843393696IWA. Edited byColin Hayes. Publishing, London, Uk, 85 p.
- Shanks, O.C, Santo Domingo, J., Lu, J. and Graham, J.E. "Species-Specific Primer Sets and Identification of Species-Specific DNA Sequences using Genome Fragment Enrichment." United States Patent No: US 7,572,584 B2. Awarded - August 11, 2009.
To ask a question or report a problem regarding the Water Research web pages, please contact Michelle Latham, 513-569-7601, or use the address below.
U.S. EPA National Risk Management Research Laboratory
Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center
Water Supply and Water Resources Division
26 West Martin Luther King Drive
Mail Code: MLK 689
Cincinnati, OH 45268