Bacteria have been on this planet since the beginning of time. They existed before mankind did and will still be here after we are gone. They are extraordinarily tough organisms, which have amazing survival capabilities. The sole purpose of these organisms is to inhabit suitable areas to grow and propagate. Unfortunately, the human body is a perfect place for them to occupy, as it provides shelter, warmth and nourishment. We are simply the unwitting hosts, at great personal expense.
Similarly, the environment that we have created to provide ourselves with shelter, warmth and comfort provides a perfect breeding ground for microorganisms. The more comforts we provide for mankind, the better we also make it for these predators to breed and flourish. This, and the drug resistance that microorganisms are developing explains why occurrences of disease outbreak are rapidly on the rise in developed countries.
When we talk of waterborne bacteria, usually the first thing that comes to mind is Legionnaires disease, caused by the legionella species of bacteria. Whilst this organism is certainly a major threat to society, there are many other equally debilitating organisms that can infect us. Arguably, the biggest problem that humans face is from the pseudomonas family of microorganisms.
It is accepted that there is around 100 pathogenic species of bacteria that cause infectious diseases in humans. To successfully be able to eradicate microorganisms from water, we must first understand the defence mechanisms these resourceful creatures employ to stay alive and protect themselves from attack; the most important of which is biofilm.
Whilst all persons are at risk to these microorganisms, infants, elderly and those who are immunocompromised are even more susceptible.