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      Waterborne Pathogens: Detection Methods and Challenges

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          Abstract

          Waterborne pathogens and related diseases are a major public health concern worldwide, not only by the morbidity and mortality that they cause, but by the high cost that represents their prevention and treatment. These diseases are directly related to environmental deterioration and pollution. Despite the continued efforts to maintain water safety, waterborne outbreaks are still reported globally. Proper assessment of pathogens on water and water quality monitoring are key factors for decision-making regarding water distribution systems’ infrastructure, the choice of best water treatment and prevention waterborne outbreaks. Powerful, sensitive and reproducible diagnostic tools are developed to monitor pathogen contamination in water and be able to detect not only cultivable pathogens but also to detect the occurrence of viable but non-culturable microorganisms as well as the presence of pathogens on biofilms. Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) is a helpful tool to evaluate the scenarios for pathogen contamination that involve surveillance, detection methods, analysis and decision-making. This review aims to present a research outlook on waterborne outbreaks that have occurred in recent years. This review also focuses in the main molecular techniques for detection of waterborne pathogens and the use of QMRA approach to protect public health.

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          The importance of the viable but non-culturable state in human bacterial pathogens

          Many bacterial species have been found to exist in a viable but non-culturable (VBNC) state since its discovery in 1982. VBNC cells are characterized by a loss of culturability on routine agar, which impairs their detection by conventional plate count techniques. This leads to an underestimation of total viable cells in environmental or clinical samples, and thus poses a risk to public health. In this review, we present recent findings on the VBNC state of human bacterial pathogens. The characteristics of VBNC cells, including the similarities and differences to viable, culturable cells and dead cells, and different detection methods are discussed. Exposure to various stresses can induce the VBNC state, and VBNC cells may be resuscitated back to culturable cells under suitable stimuli. The conditions that trigger the induction of the VBNC state and resuscitation from it are summarized and the mechanisms underlying these two processes are discussed. Last but not least, the significance of VBNC cells and their potential influence on human health are also reviewed.
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            Recent findings on the viable but nonculturable state in pathogenic bacteria.

            Many bacteria, including a variety of important human pathogens, are known to respond to various environmental stresses by entry into a novel physiological state, where the cells remain viable, but are no longer culturable on standard laboratory media. On resuscitation from this 'viable but nonculturable' (VBNC) state, the cells regain culturability and the renewed ability to cause infection. It is likely that the VBNC state is a survival strategy, although several interesting alternative explanations have been suggested. This review describes the VBNC state, the various chemical and physical factors known to induce cells into this state, the cellular traits and gene expression exhibited by VBNC cells, their antibiotic resistance, retention of virulence and ability to attach and persist in the environment, and factors that have been found to allow resuscitation of VBNC cells. Along with simple reversal of the inducing stresses, a variety of interesting chemical and biological factors have been shown to allow resuscitation, including extracellular resuscitation-promoting proteins, a novel quorum-sensing system (AI-3) and interactions with amoeba. Finally, the central role of catalase in the VBNC response of some bacteria, including its genetic regulation, is described.
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              An overview of foodborne pathogen detection: in the perspective of biosensors.

              Food safety is a global health goal and the foodborne diseases take a major crisis on health. Therefore, detection of microbial pathogens in food is the solution to the prevention and recognition of problems related to health and safety. For this reason, a comprehensive literature survey has been carried out aiming to give an overview in the field of foodborne pathogen detection. Conventional and standard bacterial detection methods such as culture and colony counting methods, immunology-based methods and polymerase chain reaction based methods, may take up to several hours or even a few days to yield an answer. Obviously this is inadequate, and recently many researchers are focusing towards the progress of rapid methods. Although new technologies like biosensors show potential approaches, further research and development is essential before biosensors become a real and reliable choice. New bio-molecular techniques for food pathogen detection are being developed to improve the biosensor characteristics such as sensitivity and selectivity, also which is rapid, reliable, effective and suitable for in situ analysis. This paper not only offers an overview in the area of microbial pathogen detection but it also describes the conventional methods, analytical techniques and recent developments in food pathogen detection, identification and quantification, with an emphasis on biosensors. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Pathogens
                Pathogens
                pathogens
                Pathogens
                MDPI
                2076-0817
                21 May 2015
                June 2015
                : 4
                : 2
                : 307-334
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Laboratorio de Biología Celular y Tisular, Departamento de Morfología, Centro de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes 20131, Mexico; E-Mails: flor.ramirez.castillo@ 123456gmail.com (F.Y.R.-C.); aloeramuro@ 123456yahoo.com (A.L.-M.)
                [2 ]Laboratorio de Ciencias Ambientales, Departamento de Fisiología y Farmacología, Centro de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes 20131, Mexico; E-Mail: fjavelar@ 123456correo.uaa.mx (F.J.A.-G.)
                [3 ]Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie Porcine et Avicole, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, St-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 7C6, Canada; E-Mails: mario.jacques@ 123456umontreal.ca (M.J.); philippe.garneau@ 123456umontreal.ca (P.G.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mails: josee.harel@ 123456umontreal.ca (J.H.); alguerre@ 123456correo.uaa.mx (A.L.G.-B.); Tel.: +450-773-8521 (ext. 8233) (J.H.); Fax: +450-778-8108 (J.H.); Tel.: +449-910-7400 (ext. 342) (A.L.G.-B.); Fax: +449-910-8401 (A.L.G.-B.).
                Article
                pathogens-04-00307
                10.3390/pathogens4020307
                4493476
                26011827
                81b0e7ac-94be-428e-a09c-f7afcb82f158
                © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                History
                : 31 March 2015
                : 13 May 2015
                Categories
                Review

                waterborne outbreaks,quantitative risk assessment,viable but non-culturable microorganisms,microbial source-tracking,detection methods

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