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HEALTHY WATER

Assessment of human health impacts from emerging microbial pathogens in drinking water by molecular and epidemiological studies

The overall goal of the project is to advance our knowledge on pathogenesis of emergent microbial pathogens in drinking water and to understand their transmission to humans. The project will focus on all major types of pathogens, i.e. viruses, bacteria and protozoa, and will concentrate on a representative set of European drinking water supply systems and source waters of specific sensitivity to human health. This project will build on the output of the MicroRisk project by focussing on water systems that are in general not as well protected as the systems within MicroRisk. To reach the overall goal the following detailed objectives are approached: 1. Validation and application of detection technologies for emerging microbial pathogens based on nucleic acids. 2. Molecular survey and comparative detailed study of emerging pathogens in European drinking water sources and supply systems. 3. Understanding the human health impact of emerging pathogens by primary epidemiological studies targeted at specific systems and pathogens. 4. Determination of epidemiological correlations with molecular and environmental data and assessment of risk for waterborne microbial infections in Europe. An integrated research approach will be pursued to achieve these objectives by combining molecular and classical detection, activity assessment and epidemiological understanding of emerging pathogens in a specific set of drinking water systems from different European regions. The project will generate validated detection technologies for the targeted waterborne pathogens and reveal possible routes of transmission to humans via drinking water consumption. This new knowledge will provide guidance to improve the hygienic quality of European drinking water supplies and reduce the burden of waterborne infections for the people in Europe.

Strategic objective

According to the work programme of the European Commission in priority 1.1.5 “Food quality and safety” for Topic T5.4.8.3: “Pathogens in drinking water sources”, the following strategic aim is given: “The objective is to gather knowledge on emergent microbial pathogens in drinking water sources. Human health impacts of emergent micro-organisms should be further investigated.”

Project Summary

The overall goal of the project is to advance our knowledge on pathogenesis of emergent microbial pathogens in drinking water and to understand their transmission to humans. The project will focus on all major types of pathogens, i.e. viruses, bacteria and protozoa, and will concentrate on a representative set of European drinking water supply systems and source waters of specific sensitivity to human health. This project will build on the output of the MicroRisk project by focussing on water systems that are in general not as well protected as the systems within MicroRisk. To reach the overall goal the following detailed objectives are approached: 1. Validation and application of detection technologies for emerging microbial pathogens based on nucleic acids. 2. Molecular survey and comparative detailed study of emerging pathogens in European drinking water sources and supply systems. 3. Understanding the human health impact of emerging pathogens by primary epidemiological studies targeted at specific systems and pathogens. 4. Determination of epidemiological correlations with molecular and environmental data and assessment of risk for waterborne microbial infections in Europe. An integrated research approach will be pursued to achieve these objectives by combining molecular and classical detection, activity assessment and epidemiological understanding of emerging pathogens in a specific set of drinking water systems from different European regions. The project will generate validated detection technologies for the targeted waterborne pathogens and reveal possible routes of transmission to humans via drinking water consumption. This new knowledge will provide guidance to improve the hygienic quality of European drinking water supplies and reduce the burden of waterborne infections for the people in Europe.

Project objectives

To meet the general aim given by the Commission we have defined the following specific objectives within the HEALTHY-WATER project:

Objective 1: 

Development and validation of molecular detection technologies

for emerging microbial pathogens based on nucleic acids to provide a format

ready for mass application in drinking water samples

Objective 2: 

Molecular survey and comparative detailed study

of emerging microbial pathogens in European drinking water sources and

supply systems

Objective 3: 

Understanding human health impacts of emerging pathogens

in different drinking water  supply systems and different supply regimes

Objective 4: 

Determination of epidemiological correlations

with molecular and environmental data and assessment of risk for emerging

waterborne microbial infections in Europe 

Workplan

An integrated research approach (see Figure 1 below) will be pursued comprising the following elements: i) molecular detectionand activity assessment of emerging microbial pathogens in source water and supply systems for drinking water from different European regions, ii) prospective epidemiological studies and immunological surveys in targeted areas and of selected pathogens, iii) development of epidemiological models and iv) derivation of public health measures for drinking water in Europe. This integrated approach will be supported by data mining for knowledge about the targeted pathogens, electronic knowledge management and specific searches for epidemiological data from the European regions of relevance. In addition, molecular technologies based on DNA micro-arrays and fingerprints for detection and activity assessment of the emerging pathogens will be validated to allow rapid molecular analyses of many water samples.

Partner

HZI- Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research

Expertise:

  • Coordination & project management
  • molecular analysis of aquatic microbial communities
  • detection of virulence genes and pathogenic bacteria

Project coordinator:

Dr. Manfred G. Höfle
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research
Dept. Vaccinology
Inhoffenstr. 7
38124 Braunschweig
Germany

E-Mail: Manfred.Hoefle@helmholtz-hzi.de
Website: www.helmholtz-hzi.de/healthy-water

Team Members:

Dr. Ingrid Brettar (second contact person for coordination) 
E-Mail: Ingrid.Brettar@helmholtz-hzi.de 

Prof. Carlos A. Guzman 
Leila Matter
Julia Bötel

UEA - University of East Anglia

Expertise:

  • epidemiology of water and foodborne diseases
  • molecular parasitolgy, analysis of virulence factors in protozoal waterborne pathogens

Project Participant:

Prof. Paul R. Hunter
School of Medicine
Health Policy and Practice
University of East Anglia
Norwich NR4 7TJ England

E-Mail: paul.hunter@uea.ac.uk

Team Members:

Dr. Kevin Tyler
Helen Risebro

IAD - International Association for Danube Research

  • communication with water works and consumers 
  • sampling strategy
  • data base provision

 

Project Participant:

Dr. Georg Kasimir
International Association for Danube Research (IAD)
Societas Internationalis Limnologiae 
c/o Federal Agency of Water Management
Dampfschiffhaufen 54
1220 Vienna, Austria
e-mail: dkasimir@gmail.com

URV - University Rovira i Virgili

  • reference laboratory on hygienic quality of drinking water
  • Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Point for Drinking Water (HACCP)

Project Participant:

 

Prof. Maria-José Figueras
Universitat Rovira Virgii I
Unitat de Microbiologia
Dept. De Ciències Bàsiques
Facultat de Medicina
Sant Llorenç, 21
E-43201 Reus

e-mail: mjfs@correu.urv.es

UB - University of Barcelona

  • analysis of water- and foodborne viruses 
  • molecular detection of microorganisms without cultivation 

Project Participant:

 

Prof. Albert Bosch
Dep. Microbiologia
Universitat de Barcelona
Av. Diagonal 645
E 08028 Barcelona
e-mail: abosch@ub.edu
web: www.ub.edu/microbiologia/viruse/index.htm

Team Members: 
Dr. Rosa Pinto
Umai Perez

SUEZ - SUEZ Environnement

  • managment of Drinking Water Supply Systems (DWWS) 
  • molecular detection of waterborne pathogens (generic concentration, micro-array technology, real-time PCR)

Project Participant:

 

Dr. Sophie Courtois
SUEZ Environnement - CIRSEE
38 rue du president Wilson
F78230 Le Pecq France
e-mail: sophie.courtois@suez-env.com
web: www.suez-environnement.com

Team Members:

Kalissa Sebti

NIEH - National Institute of Environmental Health

  • Monitoring and detection of of Cryptosporidia and Giardia by immunomagnetic separation and immune fluorescence 
  • Public health issues and regulatory measures against waterborne infections

Project Participant:

 

Dr. Andrea Török Tamásné
National Center of Public Health
National Institute of Environmental Health
POB 26
1450 Budapest
Hungary
e-mail: toroka@okk.antsz.hu
web: efrira1.ansz.hu/oki

Team Members:

Dr. Rita Vasdinyei 
Orsolya Kis 
Aniko Kis 
Judit Plutzer 
Maria Asztalos
Klarissza Domokos 
Zsigmondné Boros

UNSA - Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis

  • bioinformatics of nucleic acids (primer and probe design)
  • electronic management and data base support (e-dashboard, central data bases)

Project Participant:

Prof. Richard Christen 
UNSA - CNRS UMR 6543 & Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis
Laboratoire de Biologie Virtuelle
Centre de Biochimie
Parc Valrose
F06108 Nice
e-mail: christen@unice.fr
Web site: bioinfo.unice.fr

Team Members:
Dr. Olivier Croce
Thierry Philipps

MDC- Molecular Diagnostics Center

  • molecular typing of microorganisms
  • provision of reference strains and nucleic acids

Project Participant:

Dr. Antonio Martinez-Murcia
MDC- Molecular Diagnostics Center
Crta. Ncnal. 340, Apdo. 169, 
Orihuela
Spain
e-mail: ammurcia@mdc-bt.com
Web: www.mdc-bt.com

Team Members:

Dr. Maria José Saavedra 
Dr. Remedios Oncina 
Marisa Sousa

Publications

Kahlisch, L. K. Henne, L. Gröbe, I. Brettar and M.G. Höfle; (2012). Assessing the species composition of viable bacteria in drinking water using Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) and community fingerprinting. Microbial Ecol.: 63, 383-397

Henne, K., L. Kahlisch, I. Brettar and M.G. Höfle; (2012). Comparison of structure and composition of bacterial core communities in mature drinking water biofilms and bulk water of a local network. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.: 78, published ahead of print, 2 March, doi:10.1128/AEM.06373-11 PubMed

Pérez-Sautu U., D. Sano, S. Guix, G. Kasimir, R. M. Pintó and A. Bosch; (2012). Human norovirus occurrence and diversity in the Llobregat river catchment, Spain. Environ. Microbiol.: 14, 494-502 PubMed

Figueras M.J., A. Alperi, R. Beaz-Hidalgo, E. Stackebrandt, E. Brambilla, A. Monera and A. J. Martinez-Murcia; (2011). Aeromonas rivuli sp. nov., isolated from the upstream region of a karst water rivulet. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol.: 61, 242-248 PubMed

Collado L., A. Levican, J. Perez and M. J. Figueras; (2011). Arcobacter defluvii sp. nov., isolated from sewage samples. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol.:, 2155-2161 PubMed

Collado, L., G. Kasimir , U. Perez, A. Bosch, R. Pinto, G. Saucedo,J. M. Huguet, and M. Jose Figueras; (2011). Occurrence and diversity of Arcobacter spp. along the LlobregatRiver catchment, at sewage effluents and in a drinking water treatment plant. Water Res.: 44, 3696-3702 PubMed

Paul R. Hunter, P, R., M. Anderle de Sylor, H. L. Risebro, G. L. Nichols, D. Kay, and P. Hartemann; (2011). Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment of Cryptosporidiosis and Giardiasis from Very Small Private Water Supplies. Rsik Analysis:, 228-236PubMed

Collado L., and M. J. Figuera; (2011). Taxonomy, Epidemiology, and Clinical Relevance of the Genus Arcobacter. Clin. Microbiol. Rev.: 24, 174-192 PubMed

Croce, O., F. Chevenet and R. Christen; (2010). A New Web Server for the Rapid Identification of Microorganisms. J Microbial Biochem Technol.:, 84-88

Sano, D.; Pintó, R.M.; Omura, T.; Bosch, A.; (2010). Detection of Oxidative Damages on Viral Capsid Protein for Evaluation Structural Integrity and Infectivity of Human Norovirus. Environ. Sci. Technol.: 44 2, 808-812 PubMed

Kahlisch,L.; Henne,K.; Draheim,J.; Brettar,I.; Höfle,Manfred G.*; (2010). High-resolution in situ genotyping of Legionella pneumophila populations in drinking water by multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis using environmental DNA. Applied in Environmental Microbiology: 76 18, 6186-6195 HZI repository PubMed

Kahlisch, L.; Henne, K.; Groebe, L.; Draheim, J.; Höfle, M.G.; Brettar, I.; (2010). Molecular analysis of the bacterial drinking water community with respect to live/dead status. Water Science & Technology: WST: 61.1, 9-14

Bouzid M., K. M.Tyle, R. Christen, R. M. Chalmers, K. Elwin, and Paul R Hunter; (2010). Multi-locus analysis of human infective Cryptosporidium species and subtypes using. BMC Microbiol.: 10, 213 PubMed

Figueras M.J., and J. J. Borrego; (2010). New Perspectives in Monitoring Drinking Water Microbial Quality. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health: 4179-4202 PubMed

Fontes, M. C., M. J. Saavedra, A. Morena, C. Martins, and A. Martinez-Murcia; (2010). Phylogenetic identification of Aeromonas simiae from a pig, first isolate since species description. Vet. Microbiol.: 142, 313-316 PubMed

Collado, L.; Cleenwerck, I.; Van Trappen, S.; De Vos, P.; Figueras, M.J.; (2009). Arcobacter mytili sp. nov., an indoxyl acetatehydrolysis-negative bacterium isolated from mussels. Internat. J. System. Evolution. Microbiol.: 56 6, 1391-1396PubMed

Figueras, M.J.; Alperi, A.; Saavedra, M.J.; Ko, W.-C.; Gonzalo, N.; Navarro, M.; Martínez-Murcia A.J.; (2009). Clinical Relevance of the Recently Described Species Aerononas aquariorum. J. Clin. Microbiol.: 47 11, 3742-3746 PubMed

Plutzer, J.; Karanis, P.; (2009). Genetic polymorphism in Cryptosporidium species: An update. Vet. Parasitol.: G Model Vetpar:165 3-4, 187-199 PubMed

Harth-Chu, E.; Espejo, R.T.; Christen, R.; Guzmán, C.A; Höfle M.G.; (2009). Multiple-Locus Variable-Number Tandem-Repeat Analysis for Clonal Identification of Vibrio parahaemolyticus Isolates by Using Capillary Electrophoresis. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.: 75 12, 4079-4088 PubMed

Bouzid, M.; Heavens, D.; Elwin, K.; Chalmers, R.M.; Hadfield, S.; Hunter, P.R.; Tyler, K.M.; (2009). Whole genome amplification (WGA) for archiving and genotyping of clinical isolates of Cryptosporidium species. Parasitology: 137 1, 27-36 PubMed

Demartaa, A.; Kupfera, M.; Riegelb, P.; Harf-Monteilb, C.; Tonollaa, M.; Peduzzia, R.; Monerac, A.; Saavedra, M.J.; Martinez-Murcia, A.;(2008). Aeromonas tecta sp. nov., isolated from clinical and environmental sources. Systematic and Applied Microbiology: 314, 278-286 PubMed

Plutzer, J., Karanis, P., Domokos, K., Törökné, A., Márialigeti, K.; (2008). Detection and characterization of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in Hungarian raw, surface and sewage water samples by IFT, PCR and sequence analysis of the SSUrRNA and GDH genes. Int. J. Hyg. Env. Health: 211 5-6, 524-533 PubMed

Bouzid,M.; Steverding,D.; Tyler,K.M.; (2008). Detection and surveillance of waterborne protozoan parasites. Curr. Op. Biotech.:19 3, 302-306 PubMed

Christen, R.; (2008). Global sequencing: a review of current molecular data and new methods available to assess microbial diversity. 23 4, 253-268 PubMed

Christen, R.; (2008). Identification of pathogens – a bioinformatic point of view. Curr. Op. Biotech.: 19, 266-273 PubMed

Brettar, I.; Höfle, M.G.; (2008). Molecular assessment of bacterial pathogens – a contribution to drinking water safety.. Curr. Op. Biotech.: 19 3, 274-280 PubMed

Bosch,A.; Guix,S.; Sano,D.; Pinto,R.M.; (2008). New tools for the study and direct surveillance of viral pathogens in water.Curr. Op. Biotech.: 19 3, 295-301 PubMed

Croce O.; Chevenet, F.; Christen, R.; (2008). OligoHeatMap (OHM): an online tool to estimate and display hybridizations of oligonucleotides onto DNA sequences. Nucl. Acids Res.: 36, 154-156 PubMed

Martinez-Murcia,A.J.; Monera,A.; Alperi,A.; FiguerasM.J.; Saavedra,M.J.; (2008). Phylogenetic evidence suggests that strains of Aeromonas hydrophila subsp. dhakensis belong to the species Aeromonas aquariorum sp. nov.. Curr. Microbiol.: 58 1,76-80 PubMed

Henne,K.; Kahlisch,L.; Draheim,J.; Brettar,I.; Höfle,M.; (2008). Polyvalent fingerprint based molecular surveillance methods for drinking water supply systems.. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply: 8 5, 527-532

Projektleiter

Beteiligte Gruppen

Koordinator

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (DE)

Homepage

http://www.helmholtz-hzi.de/de/healthy_water/home/

Geldgeber / Förderer

EU - Europäische Union