By National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Water Science and Technology Board, Board on Life Sciences, Committee on Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens
Fresh and forecasted advances in microbiology, molecular biology, and analytical chemistry have made it well timed to think again the present paradigm of depending predominantly or solely on conventional bacterial symptoms for all sorts of waterborne pathogens. still, indicator techniques will nonetheless be required for the foreseeable destiny since it isn't sensible or possible to observe for the total spectrum of microorganisms which could ensue in water, and plenty of identified pathogens are tough to notice without delay and reliably in water samples. This accomplished file recommends the improvement and use of a “tool field” procedure via the U.S Environmental safeguard corporation and others for assessing microbial water caliber during which on hand indicator organisms (and/or pathogens occasionally) and detection method(s) are matched to the necessities of a specific program. The document additional recommends using a phased, three-level tracking framework to help the choice of signs and indicator techniques.
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Extra info for Indicators for Waterborne Pathogens
In addition, better detection methods in clinical specimens as well as in water samples have increased the identification of outbreaks associated with viral pathogens. This improvement can be seen in the increase in reported viral outbreaks in 2000. Despite these improvements, however, the etiologic agent remains unknown for a large percentage of outbreaks, making the development, selection, and use of indicators for waterborne pathogens very complex. Figure 1-2 provides an overview of the number of outbreaks by type of water, including waters that are specifically within this committee’s charge; that is, surface and groundwater sources for drinking water and ambient recreational 41 INTRODUCTION AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Surface water: Drinking Groundwater: Drinking 35 Ambient water: Recreational Number of outbreaks 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 2000 Year FIGURE 1-2 Number of waterborne disease outbreaks by year and water type for the United States: 1989-2000 (n = 278).
Ambient” waters in recent decades—especially freshwater and marine-estuarine waters used for recreation. However, an increased understanding of the diversity of waterborne pathogens, their sources, physiology, and ecology has resulted in a growing understanding that the current indicator approach may not be as universally protective as was once thought. In this regard, several limitations of bacterial indicators for waterborne pathogens have been reported and are discussed throughout this report.
For example, in June 2000, the bacteria E. coli O157:H7 and Campylobacter jejuni originating from the feces of agricultural animals were found to be the cause of a well-documented waterborne disease outbreak in Walkerton, Ontario (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Health Unit, 2000). Finally, the intensive use of antibiotics in animal feedlots raises the specter that feces from such sources could be the source of zoonotic pathogens that possess significant antibiotic resistance (NRC, 1999b; see also Chapter 3 for further discussion).