Category Archives: Contaminated water

New Zealand -Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections linked to raw mussels in New Zealand

Outbreak News Today

CDC Vibrio

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In New Zealand, officials are encouraging the public to ensure they cook raw mussels thoroughly after an increase in cases of food poisoning associated with commercially grown mussels from the Coromandel area.

“Testing is being done to confirm the type of Vibrio parahaemolyticus that has caused this illness. New Zealand Food Safety has an ongoing survey program to test mussels and growing waters to help us understand why this occurred.

“Until we have more information, New Zealand Food Safety is reminding consumers to take care when handling, preparing and consuming mussels. Our advice to consumers who are pregnant or have low immunity is to avoid eating raw shellfish,” says Paul Dansted.

Research – Washing away stubborn biofilms using fungal cleaning products

Science Daily biofilm

Lurking inside pipes and on the surfaces of indwelling medical devices, slimy layers of bacteria, called biofilms, cause problems ranging from largescale product contamination to potentially fatal chronic infections. Biofilms are notoriously difficult to eliminate — not surprising given that one of their main functions is to protect encased bacteria from threats such as predation, antibiotics, and chemical cleaning agents.

Bleach, harsh oxidizing cleaning products, and petrochemical-derived detergents called surfactants combined with scrubbing are the most effective methods of removing biofilms. However, bleach and harsh chemicals are obviously unsuitable for use in biological settings, and while surfactants are used in products such as hand soap and cosmetics, many are toxic to the environment and can damage the surfaces that they are used on.

But in a study published this month in peer-reviewed journal Langmuir, researchers from the University of Tsukuba have found a new way of tackling biofilms, using cleaning agents derived from microbes themselves.

USA -76 with Cyclospora illnesses linked to ALDI, Jewel-Osco and Hy-Vee salads in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska

Food Poison Journal crypto

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora infections linked to bagged salad mix purchased at ALDI, Hy-Vee, and Jewel-Osco stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, and Nebraska. As of June 19, 2020, a total of 76 people with laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora infections associated with this outbreak have been reported from 6 states:  Iowa (28), Illinois (23), Kansas (1), Minnesota (10), Missouri (7) and Nebraska (7).

People with laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora infections and who reported eating bagged salad mix before getting sick have been reported from 6 states (Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Minnesota). Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 11, 2020 to June 14, 2020. Sixteen people have been hospitalized. No deaths attributed to Cyclospora have been reported.


Research – Effect of essential oils on pathogenic and biofilm-forming Vibrio parahaemolyticus strains


In this study, the effect of three essential oils (EOs) – clove oil (CO), thyme oil (TO), and garlic oil (GO), which are generally recognized as safe – on the planktonic growth, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC), motility, biofilm formation, and quorum sensing (QS) of Vibrio parahaemolyticus was investigated. All three EOs showed bacteriostatic activity, with MICs in the range 0.02%–0.09% (v/v). CO and TO completely controlled planktonic growth at 0.28% and 0.08% (v/v), which is four times their MIC (4 × MIC), after 10 min, whereas GO completely controlled growth at 0.36% (v/v) (4 × MIC) after treatment for 20 min. V. parahaemolyticus motility was significantly reduced by all three EOs at 4 × MIC (0.28% for CO, 0.08% for TO, and 0.36% for GO), whereas QS was controlled and biofilm formation reduced by all three EOs at 8 × MIC (0.56% for CO, 0.16% for TO, and 0.72% for GO) after 30 min of treatment. These results suggest that CO, TO, and GO have a significant inhibitory effect on V. parahaemolyticus cells in biofilm sand thus represent a promising strategy for improving food safety. These results provide the evidence required to encourage further research into the practical use of the proposed EOs in food preparation processes.

Research – Escherichia coli Biofilms

Springer Link ecoli

Escherichia coli is a predominant species among facultative anaerobic bacteria of the gastrointestinal tract. Both its frequent community lifestyle and the availability of a wide array of genetic tools contributed to establish E. coli as a relevant model organism for the study of surface colonization. Several key factors, including different extracellular appendages, are implicated in E. coli surface colonization and their expression and activity are finely regulated, both in space and time, to ensure productive events leading to mature biofilm formation. This chapter will present known molecular mechanisms underlying biofilm development in both commensal and pathogenic E. coli.

Research – Transmission of Legionnaires’ Disease through Toilet Flushing

CDC CDC legionella

We describe 2 cases of healthcare-associated Legionnaires’ disease in patients in France hospitalized 5 months apart in the same room. Whole-genome sequencing analyses showed that clinical isolates from the patients and isolates from the room’s toilet clustered together. Toilet contamination by Legionella pneumophila could lead to a risk for exposure through flushing.

Research – Prevalence of E. coli , Salmonella , and Listeria spp. as potential pathogens: A comparative study for biofilm of sink drain environment

Wiley Online


Since knowledge and understanding of waterborne pathogens and their diseases are well illuminated, a few research publications on the prevalence of pathogenic microorganisms in various household sink drain pipes are often not extensively examined. Therefore, this study aims to (a) assess and monitor the densities of the bacterial community in the different natural biofilm that grow on plastic pipelines, (b) to detect Escherichia coli Salmonella , and Listeria spp. from natural biofilm samples that are collected from the kitchen (= 30), bathroom (= 10), laboratories (= 13), and hospital (= 8) sink drainage pipes. Three bacterial species selected were assessed using a culture‐dependent approach followed by verification of isolates using both BIOLOG GEN III and polymerase chain reaction. The estimated number of each bacterium was 122 isolates, while 60, 20, 26, and 16 isolates were obtained from the natural biofilm samples, kitchen, bathroom, laboratories, and hospital, respectively. As for the tests, in all types of biofilm samples, the overall bacterial counts at low temperature (22°C) were higher than those at high temperature (37°C). Meanwhile, coli had the most significant number of bacterial microorganisms compared to the other two pathogens. Additionally, the most massive cell densities of coli Salmonella , and Listeria species were discovered in the biofilm collected from the kitchen, then the hospital. Statistically, the results reveal that there is a positive correlation (≥ .0001) with significance between the sources of biofilm. This work certainly makes the potential of household sink drain pipes for reservoir contagious pathogens more explicitly noticeable. Such knowledge would also be beneficial for prospective consideration of the threat to human public health and the environment.

Information – Legionella risks during the coronavirus outbreak


CDC legionella

Image CDC


Employers, the self-employed and people in control of premises, such as landlords, have a duty to identify and control risks associated with legionella.

If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease. This may particularly affect:

For detailed guidance on Legionella and safer working during the coronavirus outbreak visit the HSE website.

Research -A review of outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis due to unpasteurized milk

Spinger  raw



This review analysed outbreaks of human cryptosporidiosis due to raw milk. The objective of our study was to highlight and identify underestimated and underreported aspects of transmission of the parasite as well as the added value of genotyping Cryptosporidium isolates.


We conducted a descriptive literature review using the digital archives Pubmed and Embase. All original papers and case reports referring to outbreaks of Cryptosporidium due to unpasteurized milk were reviewed. The cross-references from these publications were also included.


Outbreaks have been described in the USA, Australia, and the UK. Laboratory evidence of Cryptosporidium from milk specimens was lacking in the majority of the investigations. However, in most recent reports molecular tests on stool specimens along with epidemiological data supported that the infection was acquired through the consumption of unpasteurized milk. As the incubation period for Cryptosporidium is relatively long (days to weeks) compared with many other foodborne pathogens (hours to days), these reports often lack microbiological confirmation because, by the time the outbreak was identified, the possibly contaminated milk was not available anymore.


Cryptosporidiosis is generally considered a waterborne intestinal infection, but several reports on foodborne transmission (including through raw milk) have been reported in the literature. Calves are frequently infected with Cryptosporidium spp., which does not multiply in milk. However, Cryptosporidium oocysts can survive if pasteurization fails. Thus, pasteurization is essential to inactivate oocysts. Although cryptosporidiosis cases acquired from raw milk are seldom reported, the risk should not be underestimated and Cryptosporidium should be considered as a potential agent of contamination. Genotyping Cryptosporidium isolates might be a supportive tool to strengthen epidemiologic evidence as well as to estimate the burden of the disease.


Research – Use of algal oil in shrimp diets shows sharp reduction in vibrio deaths, study finds

Under Current News

A study conducted by a team of shrimp disease experts from the US and Vietnam has found that the usage of algal oil in vannamei shrimp diets has a notable impact on survival rates among shrimp exposed to the bacterium vibrio, responsible for early mortality syndrome, or EMS, reports the Global Aquaculture Alliance.

Groups of specific pathogen-free 3-gram shrimp were fed different diets by the research team, before being exposed to shrimp broth inoculated with a consistently virulent strain of vibrio collected from a farm in Vietnam.