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- The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,
Burden of Disease Attributed to Waterborne Transmission of Selected Enteric Pathogens, Australia, 2010
Universal access to safe drinking water is a global priority. To estimate the annual disease burden of campylobacteriosis, nontyphoidal salmonellosis, cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, and norovirus attributable to waterborne transmission in Australia, we multiplied regional World Health Organization (WHO) estimates of the proportion of cases attributable to waterborne transmission by estimates of all-source disease burden for each study pathogen. Norovirus was attributed as causing the most waterborne disease cases (479,632; 95% uncertainly interval [UI]: 0–1,111,874) followed by giardiasis and campylobacteriosis. The estimated waterborne disability-adjusted life year (DALY) burden for campylobacteriosis (2,004; 95% UI: 0–5,831) was 7-fold greater than other study pathogens and exceeded the WHO guidelines for drinking water quality (1 × 10−6 DALY per person per year) by 90-fold. However, these estimates include disease transmitted via either drinking or recreational water exposure. More precise country-specific and drinking water–specific attribution estimates would better define the health burden from drinking water and inform changes to treatment requirements.