Category Archives: water microbiology

Europe – Giardiasis (lambliasis) – Annual Epidemiological Report for 2017


CDC Giardia2

Image CDC

Key facts
• In 2017, 19 437 confirmed giardiasis cases were reported in the EU/EEA.
• The EU/EEA notification rate was 5.5 cases per 100 000 population. The highest notification rates were reported in Belgium, Estonia and Sweden.
• The highest notification rate per 100 000 was observed in the age group 0–4 years (17.6 for males and 14.9 for females).
• While the EU/EEA notification rate was stable during the period 2013–2017, the annual number of cases has increased steadily.

Report Download


Norway – Norway officials trying to ID water contamination source – Campylobacter

NF Chronicle


Image CDC

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norwegian authorities said Tuesday they were trying to identify the source of water contamination that has sent dozens of people in southern Norway to the hospital.

Since Thursday, 55 people — including 13 children — from Askoey, an island north of Bergen, have been hospitalized following the contamination. All have been discharged. Norwegian news agency NTB reported that in all, some 2,000 people had fallen sick.

A 1-year-old child on the island died last week of an infection in the digestive tract, but it was not clear whether it was linked to the contamination.

He said tests showed that the bacteria Campylobacter has been found in 36 cases.

Research – How flow shapes bacterial biofilms

Science Daily

Although we tend to think of them as solitary sojourners of the world, bacteria are actually very social organisms. In fact, the vast majority of bacteria live on surfaces by forming “biofilms”: three-dimensional communities hosting thousands to millions of bacteria of such bustling activity that scientists describe them as “bacterial cities.”

Bacteria form biofilms by attaching to each other on a wide variety of surfaces: the bottom of oceans, lakes or rivers, medical equipment and even internal organs, like the intestine, lungs, and teeth — the latter is the familiar dental plaque, a large source of income for dentists.

In short, biofilms are the preferred lifestyle of bacteria. They grow wide and thick, forming a new, social dynamic among their member microorganisms, while also defending them: biofilms can be notoriously inaccessible to antibiotics, which is why they have drawn a lot of medical research.

But looking at biofilms can also give us clues about broader social dynamics that have shaped the evolution of species across the entire planet, like cooperation, competition etc. And it is such questions that drive the work of Alexandre Persat, director of EPFL’s Microbial Mechanics Lab.

USA – NYC officials advise providers to look out for Legionnaires’ disease

Outbreak News Today

Legionella A

Image CDC

New York City health officials are advising providers to test for Legionella in adults with pneumonia, particularly patients who are > 50 years or have lung disease, immune-suppression, or a history of smoking.

Legionnaires’ disease follows a seasonal pattern in New York City, with an increased number of cases
reported from June to October each year.  NYC sees between 200 and 500 cases of Legionnaires’ disease each year.

While it remains a relatively rare infection, the rate of Legionnaires’ disease is increasing significantly in NYC. From 2007-2017, there was an 8.1% average increase in the rate of Legionnaires’ disease cases citywide each year.

The rate of Legionnaires’ disease increased significantly in all boroughs and demographic groups over this period.

Research – Is Climate Change Increasing Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease?

Legionella Control Legionella_Plate_01

Is climate change increasing cases of Legionnaires’ disease?

It’s a matter of record that our planet’s climate has changed almost continually throughout its history.

It would therefore be foolhardy to assume it would remain identical to the position it was in millions of years ago.

However, most of the climate changes seen in the past have been caused by natural events; that is, changes that have occurred due to factors outside of our control.

A good example would be the earth’s orbit making marginal changes, changes that have influenced the climate on our planet.

However, we have seen these gradual trends change in the last century or so.

Research – Hot Tubs Caused Legionnaires Outbreak of 1999 Killing At Least 32

Legionella Control

One of the largest recorded outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease can affect many people, depending on the circumstances and how long it takes for the outbreak to be discovered. One of the largest ever known outbreaks of the disease to date took place in the Netherlands in 1999. It was named after the town in which it occurred, Bovenkarspel in Northern Holland.

The outbreak began on 25th February that year, in the middle of the Westfriese Flora, which was later renamed as the Holland Flowers Festival. The exhibition took place indoors and attracted many hundreds of visitors. The festival ended on 28th of that month, although it would not be known for some days that anything was amiss.

Belgium – 16 people sickened with Legionnaires’ disease, one dead in East Flanders

Outbreak News Today Legionella_Plate_01

At least 16 people in the Evergem municipality of East Flanders province in northern Belgium has been sickened with Legionanaires’ disease, according to the Flemish Agency for Health and Safety (computer translated).

In addition, one patient has died while being treated at Ghent University Hospital. The first complaints from patients date from the period between April 29 and May 6. the most recent patients presented with illness between 7 and 10 May.
%d bloggers like this: