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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334370

Research Project: Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency and Mitigating Nutrient and Pathogen Losses from Dairy Production Systems

Location: Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research

Title: Groundwater and enteric disease: A review of the epidemiological evidence

item MURPHY, HEATHER - Temple University
item PRIOLEAU, MORGAN - Temple University
item Borchardt, Mark
item HYNDS, PAUL - University Of Dublin

Submitted to: Hydrogeology Journal
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/13/2017
Publication Date: 3/18/2017
Citation: Murphy, H.M., Prioleau, M.D., Borchardt, M.A., Hynds, P.D. 2017. Groundwater and enteric disease: A review of the epidemiological evidence. Hydrogeology Journal. 25:981-1001.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Globally, approximately 2.2 billion people rely on groundwater for daily consumption. It is widely accepted that groundwater typically represents a more pristine source of water for human consumption than surface water resources. While this assumption is frequently the case, groundwater is not ubiquitously free of chemical and/or microbial contaminants; accordingly, this presumption can result in an unfounded and potentially hazardous sense of security among owners, operators and users. The current paper presents a review of published literature providing epidemiological evidence of the contribution of groundwater to global human enteric infection. The various epidemiological study designs are outlined, in addition to a summary of the primary enteric pathogens associated with notable groundwater related outbreaks and their occurrence in global groundwater supplies. An emphasis is placed on enteric pathogens transmitted via the fecal-oral route, and specifically those associated with acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI). Crudely, the authors estimate that between 35.2- 59.4 million cases of AGI per year globally could be attributable to the consumption of untreated groundwater supplies.