The Rapid City Journal Quotes: “Most strains of Escherichia coli, or E. coli, are harmless. Shiga-toxigenic E. coli, or STEC, is not one of those strains. In 2016, South Dakota had the highest per capita rate of illness due to STEC in America. But a recent study out of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology that identified genes related to harmful E. coli strains may help public health officials monitor, predict and prevent future outbreaks.
Currently, health officials measure the concentration of E. coli in waterways. If it exceeds a certain level, the water may pose a potential safety risk and is thus deemed “impaired” by the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The recent study by Ph.D. student Kelsey Murray, under the direction of Linda DeVeaux, Ph.D. and Lisa Kunza, Ph.D., may soon replace that testing methodology, though.”