Category Archives: Water analysis – biological contamination

Focus on Queensland news.
Safe drinking water, medical uses (e.g. dialysis), recreational water and recycled water.
Identification of bacterial, parasitic and viral pathogens in Queensland water supplies.
Cryptosporidium | Giardia | Clostridium | Legionnella.
Water quality in relation to Spa pools | Swimming pools | Coliform bacteria | Faecal coliforms.
Waterborne disease outbreaks | Epidemiology.
Journal articles have a broader geographic scope.

Collecting data to help protect Australia’s waters from toxic algal blooms

The Conversation Penelope Ajani 22 June 2016

Ever heard of Thalassiosira, Detonula, Leptocylindrus or Chaetoceros? No, they are not the names of Greek gods but arguably some of the most important and beautiful organisms on earth: the diatoms.

Diatoms are largely unseen due to their microscopic size but they are the most abundant and diverse single-celled phytoplankton (or microalgae) in the ocean.

These ancient lifeforms arose during the Triassic period, about 200-250 million years ago. They house themselves in intricate glass cases, the patterns and structures of which delight artists, architects and engineers as well as marine biologists.

Read more:

Cholera vaccine study in Haiti suggests problems with current booster regimen

(PLOS 16 June 2016) Cholera outbreaks are on the rise. To prevent and control them, three oral cholera vaccines are currently approved by WHO. A study published in PLOS NTDs examining the immune response to one of them in Haitian adults finds that while the first vaccine round elicits a strong cholera-specific response in the mucosa (the first point of contact with the cholera pathogen), the booster dose after 2 weeks does not appear to stimulate the immune system further.

Read EurekAlert Summary

View full-text open-access article


Legions of immune cells in the lung keep Legionella at bay

(University of Melbourne 15 June 2016) A team of specialist researchers in Melbourne believe they have found a major response that helps keep the Legionella infection at bay.

Read EurekAlert Summary

View full-text open-access article


Biodegradable quick test reveals blue-green algae toxins in swimming water

EurekAlert 16-Jun-2016

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Turku have developed an easy-to-use and affordable blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) test. The testing device enables ordinary consumers to check that the water at their beach is free of cyanobacteria toxins. A commercialiser is now being sought for this rapid biodegradable testing device.
The cyanobacteria testing device, which is suitable for mass production and the size of a bank card, can be used both by consumers and authorities. The disposable, paper-based testing device can identify the occurrence of the most common cyanobacteria toxins, such as microcystins and nodularins.
“The cyanobacteria test requires only a few drops of water and indicates the result within 15 minutes. If two red lines appear on the display, the water contains cyanobacteria toxins. One line means that the water sample is toxin free,” explains VTT Senior Scientist Liisa Hakola.

Read more:

Great Barrier Reef water quality improved by wetlands restoration, scientist says

ABC News Stephani Small 14 June 2016

Restoring Queensland’s tens of thousands of coastal wetlands, known as nature’s kidneys, could be crucial to the Great Barrier Reef’s future, a James Cook University scientist believes.  Freshwater ecology expert Dr Nathan Waltham is urging state and federal governments to look to the 13,000 coastal wetlands in Great Barrier Reef catchments to help improve water quality.

Read more

Residents, traders kick up stink as sewage discharge clouds waterways around Gold Coast’s Hope Island Resort Marina

Gold Coast Bulletin Kristy Muir 14 June 2016

Berth holders, business owners and nearby residents say they frequently endure the smell of faecal matter while faeces and toilet paper can sometimes be seen floating in the waterway, with the problem worsening since 2014.  The issue was discussedat the Gold Coast Waterways Authority Board engagement session at The Boardwalk Tavern, Hope Island last night with locals noting their concerns.

Read more

Rio 2016: Studies find ‘super bacteria’ in Olympic venues, top tourist beaches

ABC News  Reuters 11 June 2016

Scientists have found dangerous drug-resistant “super bacteria” off beaches in Rio de Janeiro that will host Olympic swimming events and in a lagoon where rowing and canoe athletes will compete when the Games start early August.

The findings from two unpublished academic studies concern Rio’s most popular spots for tourists, and heighten concerns that the city’s sewage-infested waterways are unsafe.

Read more