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Microbial Indicators of Fecal Pollution: Recent Progress and Challenges in Assessing Water Quality

Citation

Holcomb, David A. & Stewart, Jill R. (2020). Microbial Indicators of Fecal Pollution: Recent Progress and Challenges in Assessing Water Quality. Current Environmental Health Reports, 7(3), 311-324. PMCID: PMC7458903

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Fecal contamination of water is a major public health concern. This review summarizes recent developments and advancements in water quality indicators of fecal contamination.
RECENT FINDINGS: This review highlights a number of trends. First, fecal indicators continue to be a valuable tool to assess water quality and have expanded to include indicators able to detect sources of fecal contamination in water. Second, molecular methods, particularly PCR-based methods, have advanced considerably in their selected targets and rigor, but have added complexity that may prohibit adoption for routine monitoring activities at this time. Third, risk modeling is beginning to better connect indicators and human health risks, with the accuracy of assessments currently tied to the timing and conditions where risk is measured. Research has advanced although challenges remain for the effective use of both traditional and alternative fecal indicators for risk characterization, source attribution and apportionment, and impact evaluation.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40572-020-00278-1

Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type

Regular

Year Published

2020

Journal Title

Current Environmental Health Reports

Author(s)

Holcomb, David A.
Stewart, Jill R.

PMCID

PMC7458903

Continent/Country

Nonspecific