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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 636; doi:10.3390/ijerph14060636

Fungal Contaminants in Drinking Water Regulation? A Tale of Ecology, Exposure, Purification and Clinical Relevance

1
Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
Department of Water Hygiene, National Public Health Center, Albert Flórián út 2-6, H-1097 Budapest, Hungary
3
Department of Biology, University of Veterinary Medicine, István utca 2, H-1078 Budapest, Hungary
4
Department of Air Hygiene and Aerobiology, National Public Health Center, Albert Flórián út 2-6, H-1097 Budapest, Hungary
5
Department of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge, Av. Padre Cruz, 1649-016 Lisboa, Portugal
6
GIAS, ESTeSL—Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde de Lisboa, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, 1990-096 Lisbon, Portugal
7
Molecular Mycology Research Laboratory, Centre for Infectious Disease and Microbiology, Sydney Medical School, Westmead Hospital, Marie Bashir Institute for Emerging Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, Westmead Institute for Medical Research, The University of Sydney, Level 4, Room 0.4.04, 176 Hawkesbury Road, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia
8
Department of Environmental Health, National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge, Av. Padre Cruz, 1649-016 Lisboa, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Warish Ahmed and David J. Beale
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [690 KB, uploaded 14 June 2017]   |  

Abstract

Microbiological drinking water safety is traditionally monitored mainly by bacterial parameters that indicate faecal contamination. These parameters correlate with gastro-intestinal illness, despite the fact that viral agents, resulting from faecal contamination, are usually the cause. This leaves behind microbes that can cause illness other than gastro-intestinal and several emerging pathogens, disregarding non-endemic microbial contaminants and those with recent pathogenic activity reported. This white paper focuses on one group of contaminants known to cause allergies, opportunistic infections and intoxications: Fungi. It presents a review on their occurrence, ecology and physiology. Additionally, factors contributing to their presence in water distribution systems, as well as their effect on water quality are discussed. Presence of opportunistic and pathogenic fungi in drinking water can pose a health risk to consumers due to daily contact with water, via several exposure points, such as drinking and showering. The clinical relevance and influence on human health of the most common fungal contaminants in drinking water is discussed. Our goal with this paper is to place fungal contaminants on the roadmap of evidence based and emerging threats for drinking water quality safety regulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: drinking water; fungi; fungal contaminants; Aspergillus; in water; Candida; moulds; molds; mycotoxins drinking water; fungi; fungal contaminants; Aspergillus; in water; Candida; moulds; molds; mycotoxins
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MDPI and ACS Style

Babič, M.N.; Gunde-Cimerman, N.; Vargha, M.; Tischner, Z.; Magyar, D.; Veríssimo, C.; Sabino, R.; Viegas, C.; Meyer, W.; Brandão, J. Fungal Contaminants in Drinking Water Regulation? A Tale of Ecology, Exposure, Purification and Clinical Relevance. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 636.

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