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Trends Parasitol. 2008 Feb;24(2):55-9. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2007 Dec 31.

The role of birds in dissemination of human waterborne enteropathogens.

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Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Division of Environmental Health Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD3 21205, USA.


Cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis and microsporidiosis are serious human diseases of waterborne origin; their etiologic agents and a substantial fecal coliform load can enter surface, drinking and recreational water resources from aquatic birds. The aim of this article is to present interactions between waterfowl and these waters that imply a negative public health impact, reinforcing the need for either better water-quality indicators or for water monitoring specifically for Cryptosporidium, Giardia and microsporidia. Where justifiable, the presence of waterfowl should be supported; however, management of drinking and recreational water resources needs to be improved by incorporating effective protection measures for pathogens linked to these birds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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