Overview of Waterborne Pathogens

Helen Bridle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter provides an introduction to waterborne pathogens, which can be divided into three main categories; viruses, bacteria and parasites, the latter of which are comprised of protozoa and helminths. Each category comprises a section within the chapter. The World Health Organisation has compiled a List of Relevant Waterborne Pathogens, which considers human health risk based upon factors such as persistence in the environment, infectious dose and resistance to disinfection methods. An adaptation of this list forms the basis of this chapter. Each category of waterborne pathogen is discussed in turn, with examples given of those pathogens considered most problematic. In general, the focus is on those pathogens for which the route of disease transmission occurs through ingestion of water. Where available, information is presented regarding the disease caused by each of these pathogens in terms of symptoms, prevalence and treatment. Additionally, information is given on the number of different species of each pathogen, their size and appearance. Furthermore, mention of recent waterborne outbreaks attributed to each of the pathogens is given.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWaterborne Pathogens
Subtitle of host publicationDetection Methods and Applications
EditorsHelen Bridle
Number of pages32
ISBN (Print)9780444595430
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Bacteria
  • Disease outbreaks
  • Environmental persistence
  • Helminth
  • Infectious dose
  • Protozoa
  • Resistance to disinfection
  • Virus
  • Waterborne pathogens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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