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Microbes Infect. 2006 Feb;8(2):578-87. Epub 2005 Oct 12.

Bacterial-protozoa interactions; an update on the role these phenomena play towards human illness.

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School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Co., Londonderry, Northern Ireland BT52 1SA, UK.


The usage of water with poor microbiological quality increases the risk of human illness. This review discusses and updates current thinking on the nature of the interaction between a range of human bacterial pathogens and waterborne protozoa. The importance of protozoa acting as protective environments for pathogenic bacteria from disinfection and of promoting extended survival in otherwise hostile environments is highlighted. The significance of biofilms in water systems, and new relationships between Salmonella and Campylobacter and water-borne protozoa are also discussed. The protection of pathogenic bacteria from disinfection within protozoa and/or biofilms has important implications for water safety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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