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Persistence of Pathogens in Water

Municipal Water Supply

  1. Abid M. Nasser

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.mw428

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Nasser, A. M. 2005. Persistence of Pathogens in Water. Water Encyclopedia. 1:521–523.

Author Information

  1. Water Quality Research Laboratory, Ministry of Health, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Natural water sources become contaminated with pathogenic micro-organisms by the discharge of inadequately treated wastewater. Four major pathogen groups can be found in wastewater: over 100 types of enteric viruses, 7 types of pathogenic bacteria, 10 types of protozoan parasites, and 6 types of helminthes of health significance to humans and animals. The concentration of pathogenic micro-organisms in wastewater is affected mainly by the amount of precipitation, the season of the year, and the socioeconomic status of the community. For most pathogenic micro-organisms, the methods of detection are expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to perform. Therefore, data on the prevalence of pathogenic micro-organisms in wastewater effluents and natural water sources is limited to types for which a detection technique was developed. The recently developed molecular biology-based techniques enhanced our capability in detecting human pathogenic micro-organisms in water sources.


  • cryptosporidium;
  • bacteria;
  • enteric viruses;
  • pathogens;
  • indicators;
  • persistence;
  • water;
  • wastewater;
  • die-off