Protozoa in Water "Fatal Threat"
The great majority of protozoa in fresh water are natural aquatic organisms which are found in open surface waters, including water supply sources; some species can colonize also piped water supplies. The protozoa that can cause adverse health effects fall into two functional groups: enteric protozoa andfree-living organisms.
The most common enteric protozoa is E. histolytica which causes amoebiasis that is usually transmitted by the fecal-oral route through contaminated water and food, it is estimated to cause 70 000 deaths per year worldwide. Symptoms can range from mild diarrhea to dysentery with blood and mucus in the stool. If the parasite reaches the bloodstream it can spread to the liver where it causes amoebic liver abscesses.
One of the most serious free-living protozoa is Naegleria fowleri which is strictly waterborne, and generally results from contact during recreational bathing e.g., swimming pools, domestic uses of water other than drinking, untreated well water or untreated municipal water. It causes brain infection that occurs after water containing the amoeba gets into the nose. This happens most often when people are diving, water skiing, or performing water sports in which water is forced into the nose.
Due to its fatal effects, searching for protozoa in water samples is a necessity. Standardized methods for detection for protozoa are now available in ALFA LABORATORIES.