Tecnologies per llicenciar

ICHNAEA: A Software System for Microbial Source Tracking Applications


  • The end-users can obtain a source prediction of a MST sample based on their own training database.
  • Users can use their routine parameters and indicators.
  • The dilution and the age of the pollution is accounted for by prediction based on the previous calculated die-off of measured parameters.


The group is looking for license partners, but other collaborations may be considered.

Intellectual Property

This project is protected by intellectual property registration.




Isabel Durán, PhD
Email: iduran@fbg.ub.es
Tel: +34 934 037 281

Executive summary

A joint UB/UPC team has developed Ichnaea, a fully computer-based prediction system that is able to make reasonably accurate predictions for Microbial Source Tracking studies. The system accepts data consisting of different concentration levels, including indicators (variables) with different environmental persistence, and can be applied within a variety of geographical or climatic areas.


Faecal pollution in water is one of the main causes of health problems around the world, and is associated with several thousand human mortalities per day by serving as a source of pathogen transmission. Microbial source tracking (MST) is a recently coined term that includes different methodological approaches developed to determine the origin of faecal pollution in water by applying various microbial or chemical indicators.

Many studies exist that develop predictive models for MST, and most of them have been based on the definition of models at the point of source, assessing mainly the specificity and sensitivity of indicators or their combinations. Progressively, the need has arisen to assess the effects of the dilution of the contributions of faecal pollution in receiving waters as well as the persistence of these indicators in the environment.

However, there still are many problems to face, including independence of geographical location, nature of the dominant faecal pollution contributors, persistence of indicators and their measured parameters, effects of dilution in watersheds, and presence of complex mixtures from several distinct animal species.


This invention consists of a software system that represents a step forward in the solution of the general MST problems. The system accepts examples showing different faecal concentration levels (dilutions), uses indicators with different environmental persistence, and can be applied at a variety of geographical or climatic areas, thus tackling many of the above issues.
The system can be trained by users with their own data matrix, developed with the MST indicators that they select within their geographical and climatic environment. Consequently, end users can adapt this software to the analysis of their results on routine MST studies. The developed prediction system provides accuracy and the precision, the estimated degree of dilution, and the age of the pollution for the analysed example. Moreover, complementary MST indicators (among those constituting the user-supplied data matrix) are suggested to further improve on the confidence of the MST prediction.

Current stage of development

A prototype is now ready for testing. By its input-based and predictive nature, the Ichnaea system will always be at the developmental stage.



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Tags: Life Sciences, Química, energia i recursos


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