Category Archives: Contaminated water

India – Norovirus Outbreak: 62 Students Infected in Kerala

Zee News


The Kerala Health Department on Monday (January 24) confirmed two cases of the gastrointestinal infection norovirus in class 1 students in Ernakulam district. The two samples were tested after 62 persons — students and their parents — developed symptoms such as diarrhoea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, a high temperature, headache, and body aches.

The school authorities said that they have the results of drinking water testing for the last four months. The virus infected the children of the E division of the first class. Immediately upon noticing the incident, the health department informed the authorities and once again sent the water for testing. Officials said that the school is completely closed and online classes are being offered.

Research Breakthrough in fighting Legionnaires’ disease


A new study of domestic and hospital drinking water systems found Legionella in 41% of samples – with Flinders University researchers making a key connection between the pathogen’s co-existence with a ‘host’ microorganism in all samples tested.

The study found Legionella bacteria “infect the amoeba host and then once inside these hosts are protected from disinfection strategies,” says Flinders University Associate Professor of Environmental Health Harriet Whiley, a co-author of the new journal article in Water Research.

Researchers tested for Legionella and its likely amoebae hosts in 140 samples of water or biofilm (the slime found on showerheads and end of faucets) to understand how the potentially dangerous bacterium colonises and proliferates in both domestic and hospital plumbing and poses a threat to human health.

Ireland – EPA finds issues with Fermoy water supply – Cryptosporidium

Irish Examiner


Cryptosporidium had been detected in the public water supply in Fermoy in November last year

The public water supply to the north Cork town of Fermoy could be at risk and placed on a list of water treatment plants needing corrective action, according to the State environmental watchdog.

The Environmental Protection Agency has warned Irish Water that Fermoy’s water treatment plant could be placed on its Remedial Action List which would require the utility to complete an action programme to address problems with the supply.

It follows an audit by EPA inspectors carried out on the facility last November to check if it was providing clean and wholesome water to households and businesses.

Research – Raw Aquatic Food Products – A Source of Pathogens and Parasites


The harmful microorganisms of concern include both bacteria (e.g. Vibrio parahaemolyticus (VP) and Vibrio cholerae (VC)) and viruses (e.g. norovirus). VP occurs naturally in seawater (estuaries and coastal areas). Hence, some seafood is inevitably contaminated with VP. On the other hand, VC can live in both saltwater and freshwater such as rivers. In Hong Kong, norovirus is a prevalent foodborne virus that is commonly found in polluted seawater and shellfish living in polluted areas is easily contaminated.

Research – Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus in Oysters under Low Tidal Range Conditions: Is Seawater Analysis Useful for Risk Assessment?


Food Illness


Human-pathogenic Vibrio bacteria are acquired by oysters through filtering seawater, however, the relationships between levels of these bacteria in measured in oysters and overlying waters are inconsistent across regions. The reasons for these discrepancies are unclear hindering our ability to assess if -or when- seawater samples can be used as a proxy for oysters to assess risk. We investigated whether concentrations of total and human pathogenic Vibrio vulnificus (vvhA and pilF genes) and Vibrio parahaemolyticus (tlhtdh and trh genes) measured in seawater reflect concentrations of these bacteria in oysters (Crassostrea virginica) cultured within the US lower Chesapeake Bay region. We measured Vibrio spp. concentrations using an MPN-qPCR approach and analyzed the data using structural equation modeling (SEM). We found seawater concentrations of these bacteria to predictably respond to temperature and salinity over chlorophyll a, pheophytin or turbidity. We also inferred from the SEM results that Vibrio concentrations in seawater strongly predict their respective concentrations in oysters. We hypothesize that such seawater-oyster coupling can be observed in regions of low tidal range. Due to the ease of sampling and processing of seawater samples compared to oyster samples, we suggest that under low tidal range conditions, seawater samples can foster increased spatial and temporal coverage and complement data associated with oyster samples.

Research – Safety and quality of water used with fresh fruits and vegetables


During fresh fruit and vegetables (FFV) production, water is used for a variety of purposes. Even the water was conventionally treated and disinfected, it may still potentially contain human pathogens, albeit at low concentrations. A risk assessment, appropriate to the national or local production context, should be conducted to assess the potential risks associated with a specific water source or supply in order to devise the appropriate risk mitigation strategies.

Since the 48th session of Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) noted the importance of water safety and quality in food production and processing, FAO and WHO has undertaken the work on this subject. This report describes the output of the third in a series of meetings, which examined appropriate and fit-for-purpose microbiological criteria for water used with fresh fruit and vegetables. The advice herein will support decision making when applying the concept of fit-for-purpose water for use in the pre- and post-harvest production of fresh fruit and vegetables.

ECDC – Giardiasis (lambliasis) – Annual Epidemiological Report for 2019



In 2019, 18 004 confirmed giardiasis cases were reported in the EU/EEA. The EU/EEA notification rate was 5.2 cases per 100 000 population. The highest notification rates were reported in Belgium and Bulgaria. The EU/EEA notification rate was stable in the period 2015–2018, with a drop in 2019, the reasons for which have yet to be determined. The highest notification rate per 100 000 population was observed in the age group 0–4 years (16.5 for males and 15.0 for females).

Giardiasis is a common parasitic infection worldwide, caused by the protozoan Giardia lamblia (syn. G. duodenalis, G. intestinalis). The disease may be asymptomatic and self-limiting, or characterised by fatigue, bloating, acute diarrhoea and other chronic gastrointestinal symptoms. Infection occurs frequently via ingestion of cysts found in contaminated water (water-themed recreational activities, swimming pools or drinking water) or food, but person-to-person transmission may also occur, e.g. through sexual transmission.

Click to access giardiasis-%20annual-epidemiological-report-2019_0.pdf

Ireland – E. coli found in 1 in 20 private water supplies, says EPA.


Key Findings for 2021

➤Compliance with drinking water standards in private supplies hasn’t improved in recent years. One in 20 supplies failed to meet the standard, compared to 1 in 200 for public water supplies.

➤Local authorities are not monitoring over a quarter of small private supplies for E. coli – and there may be many more supplies which need to be registered with the local authority.

➤Despite these shortcomings, over 60% of government funding available for infrastructural improvements went unused by water suppliers.

➤The timely completion of the Government review of rural water services will provide direction and support to water suppliers to address risks to public health.

Italy – MUSSELS ORIGIN IN SPAIN – Microbiological Contamination




Reason for reporting : Recall due to microbiological risk

Publication date : 28 November 2022



Research – Bacterial microbiota profile in gills of modified atmosphere-packaged oysters stored at 4 °C

Science Direct

french oysters


As filter-feeding bivalves, oysters can accumulate microorganisms into their gills, causing spoilage and potential safety issues. This study aims to investigate the changes in the gill microbiota of oysters packed under air and modified atmospheres (MAs, 50% CO2: 50% N2, 70% CO2: 30% O2, and 50% CO2: 50% O2) during storage at 4 °C. The diversity of bacterial microbiota in oyster gills was profiled through polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) analysis on the 16S rRNA gene V3 region to describe the variation during the entire storage period. The DGGE profile revealed high bacterial diversity in the air- and MA-packaged oyster gills, and the spoilage bacterial microbiota varied in the MA-packaged oyster gills. Results indicated that CO2:O2 (70%:30%) was suitable for oyster MA packaging and that high bacterial loads in oyster gills need to be considered during storage. In addition, Lactobacillus and Lactococcus species were found to grow dominantly in fresh oyster gills under MA packaging, which supports the potential application of MA packaging for oyster storage.