Specialist Group
Health Related Water Microbiology



(9-4-2015) Click here to get the HRWM newsletter of March 2015 with news on Watermicro2015, research highlights and IWA.


(9-4-2015) The preparations of Watermicro2015 in Losbon from 13-19 September 2015 are underway. This is an important and singular opportunity for the meeting and exchanging of ideas between the scientific community, students and professionals, providing the perfect opportunity to explore the state of the art and to debate essential issues related to these areas of expertise. The topics being covered at WaterMicro 2015 encompasses viruses in water, water and sanitation in developing countries, microbial risk assessment, metagenomics, epidemiology of waterborne diseases, recreational water and health, microbial source tracking, catchment protection, water food and health while simultaneously focusing in the microbiological quality of shellfish growing areas. Deadline for abstract submission, application for travel bursaries, the Willie Grabow Young Investigator Award, bidding for Watermicro2017 is April 23, 2015.

Click here for more information. 

Grabow award

The IWA-HRWM Willie Grabow Young Investigator Award was estab¬lished in honor of Professor Willie Grabow, a brilliant environmental vi¬rologist who stood at the cradle of our Specialist Group, and gave scientific support to developing countries in the environmental microbiology field and continues to inspire emerging scientists. The award, generously spon¬sored by IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is presented at WaterMicro2015 The Young Investigator Award is to encourage young outstanding scientists in our field, specifically in developing countries. The award consists of a stipend for travel, lodging and registra¬tion costs for WaterMicro2015. To nominate a young investigator for the award please visit www.watermicro2015.org to see the application process (due April 23, 2015).

Please email nomination packets and questions to Bettina Genthe. 

Bursaries WaterMicro2015

Applications for Bursaries to attend WaterMicro 2015 are due on April 23, 2015. Students going to school in a developing country/region (IWA Low Income Countries) , scientists working in a developing country/region, and mentor/student teams representing a developing country/region are eligible to apply. Awards support travel and attendance of WaterMicro2015. The application form can be requested at Gertjan Medema and will be made available on the WaterMicro2015 website. Submit applications as instructed on the form. The awardees will be notified by June 1, 2015.

New vice-chair

HRWM will elect a new Vice Chair later this year. The current Chairperson, Dr. Marion Savill will move to the position of Past Chair and the current Vice Chair, Dr. Gary Toranzos will move into the position of Chairperson fol-lowing the WaterMicro 2015 Sym¬posium. The elected Vice Chair will serve HRWM for 6 years in total; 2 years as Vice Chair, fol¬lowed by 2 years as Chair, and 2 years as Past Chair. In addition to officer elections, vot¬ing will also take place for the desti¬nation for the next HRWM Sympo¬sium, WaterMicro 2017. Online voting will begin prior to the 2013 WaterMicro Symposium and in person voting will take place at the HRWM Business Meeting held at the Symposium.

To nominate yourself or someone else for the HRWM Vice Chair positions please send an email to the attention of Gertjan Medema no later than April 23, 2015.

Call to host WaterMicro 2017

Are you interested in hosting the 2017 HRWM Symposium? If so, please email your interest to the HRWM board. You will then be sent details on submitting a full proposal and budget outline. The deadline for proposals is April 23, 2015.

UNC Water Microbiology Conference 2015

This second edition of this new water microbiology conference is organized by the Water Institute of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, May 18-21, 2015. Keynote lecture will be given by Ronald Atlas. Visit Waterinstitute for more information. Keynotes form the 2014 conference can be found here. 

Outbreaking news
Melioidosis, 2011 - Thailand: drinking water source
Our finding that drinking water, including public tap water, in northeastern Thailand contains viable _B. pseudomallei_ is a public health concern. Public tap water in Thailand, to which melioidosis is highly endemic, needs to be safe and free from _B. pseudomallei_ contamination. _B. pseudomallei_ can survive in water for prolonged periods (9).
E. Coli EHEC - Ireland: link to well water
The Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] is advising well owners to check their wells. The Health Service Executive has warned of a growing number of cases of enterohemorrhagic _E. coli_ (EHEC) infection, which it says can be particularly serious. Analysis of the cases shows people treated for this infection are 4 times more likely to have consumed untreated water from a private well.
Ebola and WASH guidelines
Provision of water and sanitation plays an essential role in protecting human health during all disease outbreaks, including the current Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak. Good and consistently applied water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices, both in health-care settings and the community will further help to prevent human-to-human transmission of EVD and many other infectious diseases.
Hepatitis E - Sudan: (North Darfur, South Darfur)

HEPATITIS E SUDAN (NORTH DARFUR, SOUTH DARFUR)A ProMED mail post. ProMED mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious DiseasesDate Mon 17 Feb 2014Source Radio DaBanga edited <https www.radiodabanga.org node 66948>North Darfur A reported 34 people in North Darfur's El

Cholera, diarrhea and dysentery update (02): Africa

In this update:
[1] Cholera - Namibia (Kunene Region)
[2] Cholera - Nigeria (Kano, Zamfara States) [3] Cholera - Congo DR (South Kivu Province)

Cholera, diarrhea and dysentery update (63)
Current status of cholera in the PAHO Region
In Cuba, health authorities continue to investigate suspected cholera cases detected in several provinces. Since 24 Aug 2013, the International Health Regulations (IHR) National Focal Point of Cuba has not reported additional confirmed cholera cases. Between epidemiological week (EW) 27 [1-7 Jul] of 2012 and EW 34 [18-24 Aug] of 2013, there have been 678 confirmed cholera cases, including 3 deaths.
Poliomyelitis update (27): Cameroon, Global
In this update:
[1] Cameroon, WPV - WHO
[2] Global update - Polio Eradication Initiative
Leptospirosis, hepatitis A – Fiji (BA), contaminated water source
400 families in the interior of Ba have been affected by an outbreak of communicable diseases [hepatitis A and leptospirosis] that stemmed from a [contaminated] water source.