Daily Archives: June 10, 2011

Wu et al 2011 – Are Microbial Indicators and Pathogens Correlated?

Wu, J., S.C. Long, D. Das, and S.M. Dorner. 2011.  Are microbial indicators and pathogens correlated? A statistical analysis of 40 years of research.  Journal of Water and Health, Vol 9 No 2 pp 265–278.  doi:10.2166/wh.2011.117

These researchers examined 40 years of published studies to determine if there is a correlation between microbial indicators and pathogens.  No single indicator was identified as most correlated with pathogens.  Coliphages, F-specific coliphages, Clostridium perfringens, fecal streptococci and total coliforms were more likely than other indicators to be correlated with pathogens. The abstract concludes: 

“Results suggest that much of the controversy with regards to indicator and pathogen correlations is the result of studies with insufficient data for assessing correlations.”

To what extent was laboratory data generated during this 40-year period that was never published, that, if evaluated, would lead to a different finding. This publication bias, as it is called, must be considered before drawing any conclusions…..

Click here for the abstract and to obtain the paper.

Enghoff et al 2011 – Cosmic Radiation Creates Atmospheric Aerosols

Enghoff, M.B., J. O. P. Pedersen,  U. I. Uggerhøj, S.M. Paling, and H. Svensmark 2011. Aerosol nucleation induced by a high energy particle beam. Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 38, L09805, 4 PP., doi:10.1029/2011GL047036

These researchers have demonstrated that cosmic radiation can create small floating particles (aerosols) in the atmosphere. By doing so, they substantiate the connection between the Sun’s magnetic activity and the Earth’s climate. This provides further illumination of the role of natural factors effecting climate dynamics.

Click here for the Aarhus University press release.

Click here for a further discussion of this study.

Click here for the abstract and to obtain a copy of the paper.

Of course, those aerosols will be washed out of the atmosphere by precipitation and end up in sources of drinking water.

Weston, Oregon, Water E.coli Positive

Regular coliform testing in Weston, Oregon apparently came back with a positive E. coli result…..therefore a boil water notice was issued.

There is no reason to think that a positive E. coli result from a routine coliform analysis is detecting the pathogenic strain that has shown up in Viginia and Tennessee…..and in German sprouts…..we assume, of course, that when a coliform sample is positive for E.coli that harmful orgamisms (pathogens) are likely present and so a boil water notice is issued as a precautionary measure….but a positive result does not necessarily mean that there are or will be waterborne illnesses in the community.

Click here for the local news report.

Germany E.coli Outbreak: Sprouts

3,000 sick…29 people dead.

Vegetable sprouts with pathogenic E. coli the reported cause.

Click for the news report update.