The overall goal of the project is to advance our knowledge on pathogenesis of emergent microbial pathogens in drinking water 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:
<OL> <LI> Validation and application of detection technologies for emerging microbial pathogens based on nucleic acids.
<LI>Molecular survey and comparative detailed study of emerging pathogens in European drinking water sources and supply systems.
<LI> Understanding the human health impact of emerging pathogens by primary epidemiological studies targeted at specific systems and pathogens.
<LI>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.
<P> For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/food_quality/projects/154_en.ht…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> or the <a href="http://www.helmholtz-hzi.de/en/healthy_water/" target="_blank">HEALTHY-WATER</a> Web sites.