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Waterborne Pathogens: Detection Methods and Challenges

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Laboratorio de Biología Celular y Tisular, Departamento de Morfología, Centro de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes 20131, Mexico
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Laboratorio de Ciencias Ambientales, Departamento de Fisiología y Farmacología, Centro de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes 20131, Mexico
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Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie Porcine et Avicole, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, St-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 7C6, Canada
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mark W. LeChevallier
Pathogens 2015, 4(2), 307-334; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens4020307
Received: 31 March 2015 / Revised: 8 May 2015 / Accepted: 13 May 2015 / Published: 21 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waterborne Pathogens)
Waterborne pathogens and related diseases are a major public health concern worldwide, not only by the morbidity and mortality that they cause, but by the high cost that represents their prevention and treatment. These diseases are directly related to environmental deterioration and pollution. Despite the continued efforts to maintain water safety, waterborne outbreaks are still reported globally. Proper assessment of pathogens on water and water quality monitoring are key factors for decision-making regarding water distribution systems’ infrastructure, the choice of best water treatment and prevention waterborne outbreaks. Powerful, sensitive and reproducible diagnostic tools are developed to monitor pathogen contamination in water and be able to detect not only cultivable pathogens but also to detect the occurrence of viable but non-culturable microorganisms as well as the presence of pathogens on biofilms. Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) is a helpful tool to evaluate the scenarios for pathogen contamination that involve surveillance, detection methods, analysis and decision-making. This review aims to present a research outlook on waterborne outbreaks that have occurred in recent years. This review also focuses in the main molecular techniques for detection of waterborne pathogens and the use of QMRA approach to protect public health. View Full-Text
Keywords: waterborne outbreaks; quantitative risk assessment; viable but non-culturable microorganisms; microbial source-tracking; detection methods waterborne outbreaks; quantitative risk assessment; viable but non-culturable microorganisms; microbial source-tracking; detection methods
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Ramírez-Castillo, F.Y.; Loera-Muro, A.; Jacques, M.; Garneau, P.; Avelar-González, F.J.; Harel, J.; Guerrero-Barrera, A.L. Waterborne Pathogens: Detection Methods and Challenges. Pathogens 2015, 4, 307-334.

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