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Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment and Infectious Disease Transmission Modeling of Waterborne Enteric Pathogens

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Waterborne enteric pathogens remain a global health threat. Increasingly, quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) and infectious disease transmission modeling (IDTM) are used to assess waterborne pathogen risks and evaluate mitigation. These modeling efforts, however, have largely been conducted independently for different purposes and in different settings. In this review, we examine the settings where each modeling strategy is employed.

Recent Findings

QMRA research has focused on food contamination and recreational water in high-income countries (HICs) and drinking water and wastewater in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). IDTM research has focused on large outbreaks (predominately LMICs) and vaccine-preventable diseases (LMICs and HICs).

Summary

Human ecology determines the niches that pathogens exploit, leading researchers to focus on different risk assessment research strategies in different settings. To enhance risk modeling, QMRA and IDTM approaches should be integrated to include dynamics of pathogens in the environment and pathogen transmission through populations.

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Correspondence to Joseph N. S. Eisenberg.

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Nina B. Masters, Andrew F. Brouwer and Joseph N. S. Eisenberg were supported by the NIGMS MIDAS program (grant #: U01GM110712). The authors report no other conflict of interests.

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Brouwer, A.F., Masters, N.B. & Eisenberg, J.N.S. Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment and Infectious Disease Transmission Modeling of Waterborne Enteric Pathogens. Curr Envir Health Rpt 5, 293–304 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40572-018-0196-x

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Keywords

  • Quantitative microbial risk assessment
  • Infectious disease transmission modeling
  • Waterborne pathogen
  • Enteric disease
  • Human ecology