are shown to be ubiquitous in the gull gastrointestinal tract for multiple species of the gull genus Larus found throughout North America.
Classified as a novel genus and species in 2006, C. marimammalium
is a Gram-positive, catalase-negative, facultatively anaerobic, coccus-shaped bacterium, related to, although distinct from, other catalase-negative genera which include Enterococcus
As a novel bacterium species, the pathogenesis of C. marimammalium
is relatively unknown. However, there are increasing public health concerns regarding avian fecal contamination in the environment due to the potential spread of microbial avian pathogens to humans, domesticated animals, and human food sources1. Studies have shown also that waterfowl carry human pathogens such as Campylobacter spp
, Salmonella spp
, and E. coli
, as well as being reservoirs of influenza viruses.
The Gull Fecal ID
™ service is designed around the principle that C. marimammalium
is highly specific and sensitive to numerous gulls of the genus Larus. This C. marimammalium
baterium can be used as an indicator of gull fecal contamination. Use of real-time (quantitative) Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) allows for the rapid amplification of the gene biomarker to demonstrate the presence of gull feces and allow for the real-time visualization of the target.
Accuracy of the results is possible because the method uses real-time (quantitative) PCR DNA technology. Real-time (quantitative) PCR allows small DNA sequences to be amplified exponentially and detected in real-time via fluorescent probes. DNA amplification is accomplished with small pieces of DNA called primers that are specific to the genomes of interest. Through a heating process called thermal cycling, the double stranded DNA is denatured and inserted with complementary primers. The DNA is replicated to create exact copies of the desired DNA fragment (i.e. the gene biomarker). This process is repeated rapidly many times ensuring an exponential growth in the number of copied DNA.
If the primers are successful in finding a site on the DNA fragment that is specific to the genome to be studied, then billions of copies of the DNA fragment will be available for detection. With real-time (quantitative) PCR, the desired DNA fragments are also bound by fluorescent reporter probes. Consequently, the more copies of the desired DNA fragments that are made, the stronger the fluorescent signal, thus allowing for a straightforward detection and quantification of the targeted gene in real-time via the real-time PCR associated software. Nonetheless, as with all analytical tests, in order to strengthen the validity of the results, the Gull Fecal ID
™ service should performed on multiple samples.