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Water, Pathogens & Health

An image of a child carrying a bucket of water above their head. The child appears to live in poverty and in stood infront of a 'slum' with several friends.
To understand the presence, diversity and impact of human pathogens in different water sources and different uses linked to Work Packages 2-4


As this project has developed with our West African partners, it has become clear that microbial contamination of water is a shared challenge across all the Work Packages.  In response, we have developed a focussed, integrating Work Package on the microbiology of the different elements of the water economy studied in Work Packages 2-4.

The fundamental research objectives of Work Package 5 are:

  • To understand the presence, diversity and impact of human pathogens in different water sources and different uses linked to Work Packages 2-4;
  • To work with partners to review their qualitative and quantification methods and compare them with a wider suite of methodologies (e.g. our partners mostly use bacterial markers of faecal contamination which may underestimate contamination by many other microbial pathogens), and;
  • Use the data and understanding obtained, linked with that from other Work Packages, to propose and assess effective, affordable methodologies for use by our partners and more widely in Africa to sustain water quality and reduce the impact of disease particularly in children and other vulnerable members of communities.



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