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Marine and Freshwater Fecal Indicators and Source Identification
McLellan, S. L., A. B. Boehm, AND O. C. SHANKS. Marine and Freshwater Fecal Indicators and Source Identification. Edition 1, Chapter 9, Phyllis Kanki, Jay Grimes (ed.), Infectious Diseases Selected Entries from the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology. Springer, New York, NY, , 199-235, (2013).
To inform the public how employing fecal indicators that provide information about human and other animal populations is critical for estimating the likelihood that pathogens are present and for directing remediation efforts.
Fecal indicators are organisms or chemical constituents found in fecal material or wastewater that can be measured to demonstrate the presence of fecal pollution. Fecal waste from humans and other animals can contaminant surface waters and pose a serious threat to the environment and human health. Fecal pollution serves as a vehicle for disease transmission including pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or protozoa. Fecal waste also carries with it harmless commensal organisms that live in the gastrointestinal (GI) track and are often used as fecal indicators since they are present in high numbers. The type and amount of pathogens found in fecal pollution is dependent on the host source (human, agricultural animal, wildlife) and the prevalence of illness in the host population. Therefore, employing fecal indicators that provide information about human and other animal populations are critical for estimating the likelihood that pathogens are present and for directing remediation efforts.