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The spread of salmonellae in surface water in The Netherlands was studied during recent years. Epidemiological studies revealed that infection cycles exist probably in the following way: food of animal origin, humans, sick persons, discharge of contaminated feces into the sewage system, contamination of surface water, carry-over via insects, rodents, and birds, into stables, and on feed or directly on food. Data are given in order to substantiate this hypothesis. Salmonella contamination to surface water is discussed with regard to the significance in Salmonella epidemiology. Also the effect of the chlorination of effluents in order to break possible contamination infection cycles is summarized. Moreover, attention is given to the fact that also other infectious diseases may be maintained by infection cycles in the environment.
bacteria, water, environmental pollution, water pollution, infection cycles, bacterial water control, epidemiology
Laboratory for Zoonosis and Food Microbiology, National Institute of Public Health, Biltthoven,