Twelve Days of Waterborne Diseases: Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infections

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontuberculous_mycobacteria Tuberculosis is not the only mycobacteria that can infect humans. While nontuberculous mycobacteria are common in soil and water, they are not as likely to infect someone as Mycobacterium tuberculosis is. However, to the elderly and immunocompromised these bacteria can be cause for concern. Nontuberculous mycobacteria form biofilms, allowing them to survive in potable…

Twelve Days of Waterborne Disease: Giardiasis

https://atguv.com/2020/04/09/how-to-treat-it-giardia-in-water/ Giardia duodenalis (G. lamblia and G. intestinalis) are flagellated, single-cell protozoan that cause Giardia infections. Giardiasis is the most common parasitic intestinal infection in the US. Infection occurs when people come into contact with Giardia, usually via contaminated water. Giardia can form an outer shell, called a cyst, allowing it to survive outside of…

Twelve Days of Waterborne Diseases: Escherichia coli Infections

https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/ecoli-prevention.html E. coli infections are most commonly associated with UTIs (urinary tract infections), but it can also cause enteric infection, invasive infection, and infection at other sites. UTIs are usually ascending infections, travelling from the perineum up through the urethra. Along with UTIs, E. coli can also cause prostatitis and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). While…

Twelve Days of Waterborne Diseases: Cryptosporidiosis

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/index.html Cryptosporidium is an obligate, intracellular coccidian protozoa that replicates in small-bowl epithelial cells of a vertebrate host. The main mode of transmission is through contact with contaminated water. Occasionally it can be transmitted through contaminated food, but it is mostly through contaminated water. Cryptosporidium eggs come in two varieties, thick-walled and thin-walled. Thin-walled eggs…

Twelve Days of Waterborne Diseases: Campylobacteriosis

https://www.cdc.gov/campylobacter/index.html Campylobacter species are motile, curved, microaerophilic, gram-negative bacilli that normally inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of many domestic animals and fowl. Several species of campylobacter can infect humans, with most infections coming from contaminated food and water. The two main versions of campylobacter are C. jejuni and C. fetus. C. jejuni affects both healthy and…

Twelve Days of Waterborne Diseases: Acute External Otitis

https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/ear,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/external-ear-disorders/external-otitis-acute Acute External Otitis is an infection of the ear canal skin. This infection is most frequently caused by bacteria in water, but it can also be caused by fungus. However, the fungal variety is much less common. Acute External Otitis can be localized or a diffuse infection of the entire ear canal. The diffuse…

Covid and waterborne bacteria: How the pandemic is creating a perfect world for legionella.

Hospitals are full to the brim with people sick from Covid-19. This highly contagious respiratory infection is shutting down the world. Why is that good for legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires disease? Well, large building water systems are not meant to sit stagnant. Municipal disinfection runs low and biofilms build up in the pipes.…

Which waterborne pathogens are the most deadly?

Waterborne diseases have multiple routes of infection, including fecal-oral, contact, or inhalation. Coming into contact with a waterborne disease through any of the routes can cause illness in multiple body systems. There are 13 waterborne pathogens that cause the majority of illnesses in people. One you have probably heard of is E. coli. However, of…

What makes legionella so dangerous to humans?

Certain amoeba love snacking on the waterborne pathogen, legionella. However, over millions of years, legionella bacteria have evolved ways to combat becoming a meal for waterborne amoeba. This seems like a harmless way for legionella to thrive in its natural environment, it has also created a way for legionella to get around being stopped by…