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Special Issue "Pathogens in Water"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 August 2016).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Sunny Jiang

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, California 92697-2175, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: water quality; environmental engineering; water microbiology; risk assessment; desalination biofouling; membrane process; harmful algal bloom
Guest Editor
Dr. Yiping Cao

Senior Microbiologist, Southern California Coastal Water Research Projects, Coasta Mesa, CA 92610, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: microbial source tracking; microbial fate and transport; pathogen detection; water reuse; antibiotic resistance; microbial ecology; statistical modelling and risk assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water is essential to support life systems on Earth, but it is also the major cause of human morbidity and mortality in the world due to the presence of disease-causing pathogens in the water supply. The important link between human diseases and microbial contamination of water has been recognized since the first pandemic of chorea. However, the struggle for detecting, removing pathogens from water, or preventing them from entering the water system is far from over. Pathogen-monitoring technologies have improved from cultivation, isolation, and identification-based approaches, to culture-independent molecular biological and near real time methods. Multi-barrier water treatment technologies have been implemented to recycle human sewage to drinking water. Extensive sanitary collection and treatment systems are being constructed all over the world to prevent pathogen-containing waste from entering the drinking water supply. However, there are important gaps and significant challenges remain. This Special Issue of Water will focus on advances in pathogen monitoring, treatment technologies, and innovative sanitary collection and treatment systems for separating pathogens from water resources. Another important area of water safety is understanding the risk of human illness from exposure to pathogens and setting the right regulations and policies, based on the pathogen or surrogate level. Submission of manuscripts regarding pathogen detection, treatment, microbial risk assessment, and public health policy related to pathogen in water are encouraged.

Prof. Dr. C. Sunny Jiang
Dr. Yiping Cao
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • Pathogen
  • Indicator
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Protozoa
  • Sanitation
  • Surface water
  • Groundwater
  • Water reuse
  • Risk assessment
  • Public health policy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessCommunication
Antibiotic-Resistant Enteric Bacteria in Environmental Waters
Water 2016, 8(12), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8120561
Received: 26 August 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (201 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sources of antibiotic resistant organisms, including concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), may lead to environmental surface and groundwater contamination with resistant enteric bacteria of public health concern. The objective of this research is to determine whether Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica [...] Read more.
Sources of antibiotic resistant organisms, including concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), may lead to environmental surface and groundwater contamination with resistant enteric bacteria of public health concern. The objective of this research is to determine whether Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica, and enterococci resistant to clinically relevant antibiotics are present in surface and groundwater sources in two eastern North Carolina counties, Craven and Wayne. 100 surface and groundwater sites were sampled for Salmonella, E. coli, and enterococci, and the bacteria isolated from these samples were tested for susceptibility to clinically relevant antibiotics. Salmonella were detected at low levels in some surface but not groundwater. E. coli were in surface waters but not ground in both counties. Enterococci were present in surface water and a small number of groundwater sites. Yersinia was not found. Bacterial densities were similar in both counties. For Salmonella in surface water, the most frequent type of resistance was to sulfamethoxazole. There was no ciprofloxacin resistance. There were a few surface water E. coli isolates resistant to chloramphenicol, gentamicin, and ampicillin. Enterococci in surface water had very low levels of resistance to vancomycin, chloramphenicol, ampicillin, and streptomycin. E. coli and enterococci are present more frequently and at higher levels in surface water than Salmonella, but groundwater contamination with any of these organisms was rare, and low levels of resistance can be found sporadically. Resistant bacteria are relatively uncommon in these eastern N.C. surface and groundwaters, but they could pose a risk of human exposure via ingestion or primary contact recreation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogens in Water)
Open AccessArticle
Near Real-Time Flow Cytometry Monitoring of Bacterial and Viral Removal Efficiencies during Water Reclamation Processes
Water 2016, 8(10), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8100464
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 3 October 2016 / Accepted: 12 October 2016 / Published: 18 October 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1458 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wastewater reuse has become an important part of the urban water supply portfolio in water stressed regions. Effective wastewater treatment processes are critical to protect public health during water reuse practices. However, the microbial removal efficiencies in wastewater reclamation plants are not routinely [...] Read more.
Wastewater reuse has become an important part of the urban water supply portfolio in water stressed regions. Effective wastewater treatment processes are critical to protect public health during water reuse practices. However, the microbial removal efficiencies in wastewater reclamation plants are not routinely monitored due to the lack of a simple quantification method. This study applied a near real-time flow cytometry (FCM) technique to quantify the removal of total bacteria and viruses at three wastewater reclamation plants in Southern California. The results showed that the activated sludge process removed 1–2 log10 of bacteria but was not efficient at removing viruses. The membrane bioreactor process was capable of removing both bacteria and viruses with high efficiency. At the plant using chloramines as the main disinfectant, even though culturable total coliform bacteria were effectively reduced to the level meeting the California Title 22 Water Recycling Criteria (7-day median of 2.2 most probable number (MPN)/100 mL, and no more than one sample exceeds 23 MPN/100 mL), the disinfected final effluent still contained greater than 106 bacterial and 108 viral particles per mL in. In contrast, more than 4 log10 removal of both bacteria and viruses were observed at the plant using free chlorine as the main disinfectant. The results indicate that additional microbial indicators are needed and suggest the potential use of FCM as a rapid monitoring tool for evaluation of microbial removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogens in Water)
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Open AccessArticle
Submerged Pond Sand Filter—A Novel Approach to Rural Water Supply
Water 2016, 8(6), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8060250
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 13 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2473 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study describes the new design and function of a modified version of a traditional slow sand filter. The Submerged Pond Sand Filter is built inside a pond and has a vertical as well as a horizontal flow of water through a sloped [...] Read more.
This study describes the new design and function of a modified version of a traditional slow sand filter. The Submerged Pond Sand Filter is built inside a pond and has a vertical as well as a horizontal flow of water through a sloped filter opening. The filter provides treated drinking water to a rural Indian village. The filter has functioned with minimal maintenance for five years without being subject to the typical scraping off and changing of sand as needed in traditional slow sand filters every few months. This five-year study showed bacterial removal efficiency of 97% on average with a level of faecal coliforms of 2 ± 2 colony forming units (CFU)/100 mL measured in the treated water. Turbidity was visibly removed during treatment. When water was retrieved from the filter through a manual pump for long consistent time intervals (60 min), faecal coliform counts increased from four to 10 CFU/100 mL on average compared to shorter pumping intervals (5 min). Though the treated water did not comply with the World Health Organization standards of 0 CFU/100 mL, the filter significantly improved water quality and provided one of the best sources of drinkable water in a water-depleted area, where only surface water was available. Furthermore, it is a sustainable treatment method due to low maintenance requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogens in Water)
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Open AccessArticle
Inter-Laboratory Evaluation and Successful Implementation of MS2 Coliphage as a Surrogate to Establish Proficiency Using a BSL-3 Procedure
Water 2016, 8(6), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8060248
Received: 15 April 2016 / Revised: 19 May 2016 / Accepted: 3 June 2016 / Published: 10 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (225 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Laboratory Alliance relies on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ultrafiltration-based Water Processing Procedure (WPP) for concentration of biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) agents from 10 L to 100 L of drinking water. The WPP requires [...] Read more.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Laboratory Alliance relies on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ultrafiltration-based Water Processing Procedure (WPP) for concentration of biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) agents from 10 L to 100 L of drinking water. The WPP requires comprehensive training and practice to maintain proficiency, resulting in a critical need for quality control (QC) criteria. The aim of this study was to develop criteria using male-specific (MS2) coliphage (BSL-2 agent) to minimize safety hazards associated with BSL-3 agents and to use the criteria to evaluate analytical proficiency during a demonstration exercise. EPA Method 1602 with EasyPhage was used during the study to develop QC criteria for 100-mL, and 40–100 L samples. The demonstration exercise indicated that the MS2 criteria would allow laboratories to demonstrate proficiency using the WPP with 40–100 L samples. In addition, the QC criteria developed for 100-mL samples has broad applicability at laboratories that are using MS2 for other types of analyses, such as assessment of water treatment devices. The development of MS2 QC criteria allows laboratories to develop and confirm ongoing proficiency using the WPP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogens in Water)
Open AccessArticle
Monitoring of β-d-Galactosidase Activity as a Surrogate Parameter for Rapid Detection of Sewage Contamination in Urban Recreational Water
Water 2016, 8(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8020065
Received: 11 December 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 28 January 2016 / Published: 18 February 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Simple, automated methods are required for rapid detection of wastewater contamination in urban recreational water. The activity of the enzyme β-d-galactosidase (GAL) can rapidly (<2 h) be measured by field instruments, or a fully automated instrument, and was evaluated as a [...] Read more.
Simple, automated methods are required for rapid detection of wastewater contamination in urban recreational water. The activity of the enzyme β-d-galactosidase (GAL) can rapidly (<2 h) be measured by field instruments, or a fully automated instrument, and was evaluated as a potential surrogate parameter for estimating the level of fecal contamination in urban waters. The GAL-activity in rivers, affected by combined sewer overflows, increased significantly during heavy rainfall, and the increase in GAL-activity correlated well with the increase in fecal indicator bacteria. The GAL activity in human feces (n = 14) was high (mean activity 7 × 107 ppb MU/hour) and stable (1 LOG10 variation), while the numbers of Escherichia coli and intestinal enterococci varied by >5 LOG10. Furthermore, the GAL-activity per gram feces from birds, sheep and cattle was 2–3 LOG10 lower than the activity from human feces, indicating that high GAL-activity in water may reflect human fecal pollution more than the total fecal pollution. The rapid method can only be used to quantify high levels of human fecal pollution, corresponding to about 0.1 mg human feces/liter (or 103 E. coli/100 mL), since below this limit GAL-activity from non-fecal environmental sources may interfere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogens in Water)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Indicator and Pathogen Removal by Low Impact Development Best Management Practices
Water 2016, 8(12), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8120600
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 10 December 2016 / Published: 16 December 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2931 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microbial contamination in urban stormwater is one of the most widespread and challenging water quality issues in developed countries. Low impact development (LID) best management practices (BMPs) restore pre-urban hydrology by treating and/or harvesting urban runoff and stormwater, and can be designed to [...] Read more.
Microbial contamination in urban stormwater is one of the most widespread and challenging water quality issues in developed countries. Low impact development (LID) best management practices (BMPs) restore pre-urban hydrology by treating and/or harvesting urban runoff and stormwater, and can be designed to remove many contaminants including pathogens. One particular type of LID BMP, stormwater biofilters (i.e., vegetated media filters, also known as bioinfiltration, bioretention, or rain gardens), is becoming increasingly popular in urban environments due to its multiple co-benefits (e.g., improved hydrology, water quality, local climate and aesthetics). However, increased understanding of the factors influencing microbial removal in biofilters is needed to effectively design and implement biofilters for microbial water quality improvement. This paper aims to provide a holistic view of microbial removal in biofilter systems, and reviews the effects of various design choices such as filter media, vegetation, infauna, submerged zones, and hydraulic retention time on microbial removal. Limitations in current knowledge and recommendations for future research are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogens in Water)
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Open AccessReview
Current Status of Marker Genes of Bacteroides and Related Taxa for Identifying Sewage Pollution in Environmental Waters
Water 2016, 8(6), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8060231
Received: 19 April 2016 / Revised: 24 May 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
Cited by 36 | PDF Full-text (1365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Microbial source tracking (MST) endeavors to determine sources of fecal pollution in environmental waters by capitalizing on the association of certain microorganisms with the gastrointestinal tract and feces of specific animal groups. Several decades of research have shown that bacteria belonging to the [...] Read more.
Microbial source tracking (MST) endeavors to determine sources of fecal pollution in environmental waters by capitalizing on the association of certain microorganisms with the gastrointestinal tract and feces of specific animal groups. Several decades of research have shown that bacteria belonging to the gut-associated order Bacteroidales, and particularly the genus Bacteroides, tend to co-evolve with the host, and are, therefore, particularly suitable candidates for MST applications. This review summarizes the current research on MST methods that employ genes belonging to Bacteroidales/Bacteroides as tracers or “markers” of sewage pollution, including known advantages and deficiencies of the many polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods that have been published since 2000. Host specificity is a paramount criterion for confidence that detection of a marker is a true indicator of the target host. Host sensitivity, or the prevalence of the marker in feces/waste from the target host, is necessary for confidence that absence of the marker is indicative of the absence of the pollution source. Each of these parameters can vary widely depending on the type of waste assessed and the geographic location. Differential decay characteristics of bacterial targets and their associated DNA contribute to challenges in interpreting MST results in the context of human health risks. The HF183 marker, derived from the 16S rRNA gene of Bacteroides dorei and closely related taxa, has been used for almost two decades in MST studies, and is well characterized regarding host sensitivity and specificity, and in prevalence and concentration in sewage in many countries. Other markers such as HumM2 and HumM3 show promise, but require further performance testing to demonstrate their widespread utility. An important limitation of the one-marker-one-assay approach commonly used for MST is that given the complexities of microbial persistence in environmental waters, and the methodological challenges of quantitative PCR (qPCR) in such samples, the absence of a given marker does not ensure the absence of fecal pollution in the source water. Approaches under development, such as microarray and community analysis, have the potential to improve MST practices, thereby increasing our ability to protect human and ecosystem health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogens in Water)
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Open AccessReview
Coliphages as Model Organisms in the Characterization and Management of Water Resources
Water 2016, 8(5), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8050199
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 25 April 2016 / Accepted: 5 May 2016 / Published: 12 May 2016
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (1258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Two groups of bacteriophages that infect Escherichia coli, somatic and F-specific coliphages, have been used in academia as both fecal and viral indicators for many years. Regulatory authorities in different parts of the world are beginning to consider coliphages as indicators of [...] Read more.
Two groups of bacteriophages that infect Escherichia coli, somatic and F-specific coliphages, have been used in academia as both fecal and viral indicators for many years. Regulatory authorities in different parts of the world are beginning to consider coliphages as indicators of water quality in a range of settings. However, issues such as their potential replication in natural water environments, the cumbersome detection and enumeration methods, a lack of definition concerning which of the two groups should be included in future regulations, and the lack of a clear correlation between coliphages and human viruses and health risks in different water settings remain controversial. This review attempts to shed some light on these contentious issues. The conclusions are that: 1) supposing that they can replicate in some natural water settings, the contribution of coliphages replicated outside the gut will not affect the numbers contributed by fecal pollution and detected by strains recommended for standardized methods; 2) there are easy, fast, and cost-effective methods that can be used in routine laboratories after a little training; 3) perhaps the best option is to determine both groups in a single step; and 4) the low correlation of coliphages with human viruses and health risks is no worse than the correlation between different human viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogens in Water)
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