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Special Issue "Public Health Implications Relating to Microbiological Pollution of Water"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Marco Verani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Hygiene and Environmental Virology, Department of Biology, University of Pisa, Italy
Interests: environmental hygiene; occupational hygiene; food hygiene; environmental microbiology and virology; risk assessment; public health; molecular epidemiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water, which is one of the main determinants of health and represents the most fragile element on the planet, can be contaminated in several ways. The microbiological pollution of drinking, reused, or recreational water is a public health issue: the consumption of, or contact with, contaminated waters is associated with outbreaks caused by pathogens, such as bacteria, protozoa parasites, and viruses. The current microbial water quality standards in the majority of regulations are based mainly on fecal bacteria monitoring (total and fecal coliform, E. coli, intestinal enterococci, C. perfringens) and monitoring of some human bacterial pathogens (S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and Salmonella spp.). Nevertheless, in the context of public health protection, these parameters are still an issue of great controversy, because it is well known that they are not consistently correlated with other enteric pathogens, especially viruses. Alternative microbial parameters have been proposed and tested in different water types, such as somatic coliphages and directly pathogenic agents, which have been used as indices to assess risk. Such microbial parameters were selected based on their diffusion, epidemiological relevance, and easiness to detect. The use of these different biological targets is important to better understand the real microbial risk associated with water pollution using innovative approaches, such as quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) in many different environments. This Special Issue seeks to gather papers on various aspects of water microbial pollution, including research on the microbiological monitoring of emerging pathogens and studies on the relationship between water contamination and health effects. We especially encourage the submission of interdisciplinary work and manuscripts related to new tools for microbial research, such as the use of sensors. We also encourage the submission of studies based on QMRA relating to water pollution, which aim to estimate the risk for humans. We welcome original research papers as well as reviews.

Dr. Marco Verani
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. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2300 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

  • Water microbial pollution
  • Microbial monitoring
  • Risk assessment
  • Microbial pollution indicators
  • Index pathogens
  • Microbial detection methods

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Salivary Antibodies against Multiple Environmental Pathogens Found in Individuals Recreating at an Iowa Beach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5797; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18115797 - 28 May 2021
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Abstract
Detecting environmental exposures and mitigating their impacts are growing global public health challenges. Antibody tests show great promise and have emerged as fundamental tools for large-scale exposure studies. Here, we apply, demonstrate and validate the utility of a salivary antibody multiplex immunoassay in [...] Read more.
Detecting environmental exposures and mitigating their impacts are growing global public health challenges. Antibody tests show great promise and have emerged as fundamental tools for large-scale exposure studies. Here, we apply, demonstrate and validate the utility of a salivary antibody multiplex immunoassay in measuring antibody prevalence and immunoconversions to six pathogens commonly found in the environment. The study aimed to assess waterborne infections in consenting beachgoers recreating at an Iowa riverine beach by measuring immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against select pathogens in serially collected saliva samples. Results showed that nearly 80% of beachgoers had prior exposures to at least one of the targeted pathogens at the beginning of the study. Most of these exposures were to norovirus GI.1 (59.41%), norovirus GII.4 (58.79%) and Toxoplasma gondii (22.80%) and over half (56.28%) of beachgoers had evidence of previous exposure to multiple pathogens. Of individuals who returned samples for each collection period, 6.11% immunoconverted to one or more pathogens, largely to noroviruses (GI.1: 3.82% and GII.4: 2.29%) and T. gondii (1.53%). Outcomes of this effort illustrate that the multiplex immunoassay presented here serves as an effective tool for evaluating health risks by providing valuable information on the occurrence of known and emerging pathogens in population surveillance studies. Full article
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Article
Microbiological Assessment of Tap Water Following the 2016 Louisiana Flooding
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1273; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17041273 - 17 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 918
Abstract
Floods are a prominent risk factor in the world of public health, as there is a risk of dispersal of harmful biological and chemical contaminants in floodwater. As climate change increases, the occurrence of natural disasters and risk of adverse health outcomes due [...] Read more.
Floods are a prominent risk factor in the world of public health, as there is a risk of dispersal of harmful biological and chemical contaminants in floodwater. As climate change increases, the occurrence of natural disasters and risk of adverse health outcomes due to flash flooding also increases. Fecal indicator bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and Enterococci, are often encountered in contaminated floodwater and can cause gastrointestinal illnesses as well as a variety of infections. In August 2016, East Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes in Louisiana suffered heavy floods due to intense rainfall. No study of water quality during flooding has been conducted previously in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Twenty-three pre-flush and post-flush water samples were collected immediately from accessible homes that had been affected by the floods in order to quantify concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria. These samples were analyzed for the presence of E. coli and Enterococci through both quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and the IDEXX enzyme substrate method. The qPCR results indicated that 30% of the samples contained Enterococci and 61% of the samples contained E. coli, with the highest concentrations found in the pre-flush outdoor hose and the pre-flush kitchen tap. The IDEXX method yielded total coliforms in 65% of the samples, E. coli in 4%, and Enterococci in 35%, with the highest concentrations in the pre-flush outdoor faucet and the pre-flush post-filtration kitchen tap. Physical parameters including temperature, barometer pressure, dissolved oxygen, oxidation reduction potential, pH, conductivity, and salinity of these samples were also recorded. Of these parameters, conductivity and salinity were significant, suggesting they may positively influence E. coli and Enterococci growth. Full article
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Review

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Review
Pollution, Inflammation, and Vaccines: A Complex Crosstalk
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6330; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18126330 - 11 Jun 2021
Viewed by 694
Abstract
The importance of pollution in determining human health is becoming increasingly clear, also given the dramatic consequences it has had on recent geopolitical events. Yet, the consequences of contamination are not always straightforward. In this paper, we will discuss the effects of different [...] Read more.
The importance of pollution in determining human health is becoming increasingly clear, also given the dramatic consequences it has had on recent geopolitical events. Yet, the consequences of contamination are not always straightforward. In this paper, we will discuss the effects of different pollutants on different aspects of human health, in particular on the immune system and inflammation. Different environmental pollutants can have different effects on the immune system, which can then promote complex pathologies, such as autoimmune disorders and cancer. The interaction with the microbiota also further helps to determine the consequences of contamination on wellbeing. The pollution can affect vaccination efficacy, given the widespread effects of vaccination on immunity. At the same time, some vaccinations also can exert protective effects against some forms of pollution. Full article
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