Environmental matrices are diverse and typically heterogeneous, and therefore different strategies are employed to obtain representative environmental samples that allow for subsequent microbial characterization in terms of types, abundance and activities. For soils that are extremely heterogeneous, different sampling strategies and methods are described for sampling both surface soils and subsurface vadose zones. Information is also provided on optimum methods of storage and subsequent processing of samples depending on whether cultural or molecular (nucleic acid-based) analyses are to be conducted, and whether the target microbes are bacteria, fungi or viruses. Similar methodologies are described for sampling municipal wastes, sediment and water, with particular emphasis on human pathogens including viruses and protozoan parasites. Finally, information is presented on sampling air for microbial characterization, and the detection of microorganisms on fomites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Microbiology
Subtitle of host publicationThird Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780123946263
StatePublished - 2015


  • Cell culture
  • Community DNA analysis
  • Culture-based microbial analyses
  • Environmental sample collection
  • Immunomagnetic separation
  • Sampling environmental waters
  • Soil sampling methods
  • VIRADEL technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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