Pathogens Essay, Research Paper

Emerging Waterborne Pathogens

In today?s food preparation world waterborne pathogens are becoming

a real threat. Why? Simply because in today?s culture people are quick to

blame the food industry for most cases of disintary or other ill effects caused

by bacteria. In this paper several things will be discussed.

To understand what I?m trying to say, you must understand a few key

terms. First lets define waterborne pathogen. A waterborne pathogen is a

micro-organism whose ability to cause disease has recently been identified.

Now that you know what a waterborne pathogen is lets name a few.

1. Bacteria in the form of,

Arcobacter Butzleri

Helicobacter Pylori

And E. Coli

2. Viruses


and Adenoviruses Type 40 and 41

3. Protozoa


Each of these possible pathogens has been identified but according to

the WRc?s ?Final Report to the Department of the Environment on

Waterborne Pathogens,? it is still possible that several unidentified pathogens

may be at large and dangerous.

In order to understand how these pathogens work, and how to destroy

them we must understand several of the parts that make them up. Some of

these parts are:


Biochemical Characteristics

Detection Methods

Cultural characteristics

Health Effects

Routes of Transmission

Occurrence in Water Sources

Sources of Exposure

and Susceptibility to removal or inactivation by conventional water

treatment processes.

Each of these parts is used in today?s world to identify and destroy

existing, and new pathogens.

What happens if someone ingests a pathogen before it is identified?

Well that is one reason that the Department of the Environment is so

concerned. Due to current environmental status new pathogens are appearing

semi-daily, and consequently overwhelming those who are working to stop

them. One major example of this is Legionella. Legionella is unique in the

fact that 42 strains have been identified, and yet only one is within our ability

to control. So obviously there is a major shortage of knowledge on pathogens,

and how to control them.

According to the WRC?s report to the Department of the Enviroment

?The threat which is posed by an organism to contaminate water supplies and

cause outbreaks always exists,? and furthermore they state that ?The threat

which is posed by an organism, in terms of its occurrence and distribution in

water sources and the ability to remove it is often poorly understood and or

completely unknown.?

Does this alarm anyone else? Just the thought that our government

admits that there are diseases out there that we have no ability to control is

alarming. Let alone the fact that the food industry is blamed for most of the

problems that occur due to waterborne pathogens.

Lets examine the logic the government uses to explain this

phenomenon, ?According to data provided by the Environmental Control

Agency, 65% of waterborne pathogens appear in highly populated areas,? so

according to this data most of these pathogens arrive via the water supply to

city areas. This might explain why most ?new? diseases surface in the food

service industry, due to the fact that most restaurants and other food

production facilities are centered in cities.

Now that we know there is a problem what can the food industry do to

keep from spreading the ill feelings, and actual medical problems surrounding

waterborne pathogens? Well first of all we all need to recognize the source of

the problem, and take the appropriate steps to stop it. Supplies of ?cleansed?

water should be on hand. Also if a pathogen has been linked to your place of

business take the recommended steps to identify where the problem is coming

from and stop it. Furthermore educate your workers about the problem.

Education never hurt anyone.

In conclusion the food industry is greatly wronged by the general

public when it comes to identifying the causes of certain diseases. The only

way that this problem will ever be resolved is by grater education of the



The main source for this paper was Http://

and the Department of Environmental Conservation final report to the Department of the Environment

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