World Congress on Risk 2015
19-23 July, 2015, Singapore

Online Program

Session Schedule & Abstracts

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Common abbreviations

Wednesday 22-07-2015

Microbial Risk in a Changing World

Room: Breakthrough   11:00–12:30

Chair(s): Charles Haas

1    A risk modelling framework to evaluate the impact of climate change on food and water safety. Fazil A    (258)

Abstract: Climate change may be a factor leading to increased risks of food- and waterborne illness from consumption of existing and emerging biological hazards. A risk modelling framework was created to facilitate estimations of the impact of weather and climate change on public health risks from microbiological hazards in food and water and to compare potential adaptation and risk mitigation strategies. The framework integrates knowledge synthesis methods, data storage and maintenance, and stochastic modelling. Interactive risk assessment models were developed within the framework that link climate data, hazard behavior and virulence, contamination and exposure events, and population vulnerabilities to forecast likelihood and magnitude of adverse health impacts in different regions of Canada. Risk assessment models were developed for food and water safety case studies. Scenario analyses indicated that implementing intervention measures to adapt to changing climate impacts might mitigate future public health risks from pathogens to varying degrees. Success of adaptation efforts seems dependent, in part, on the specific biological hazard, commodity, and population considered. The framework allows for comparison of relative public health risks and potential adaptation strategies across hazards, exposure pathways, and regions to assist with preventive efforts and decision-making.

2    Dynamics of risk analysis approaches in animal source food sold in informal sector in Africa. Bonfoh B    (257)

Abstract: Risk analysis (RA) is a scientific approach to identify known or potential hazards, to assess, manage and communicate risks. RA is the current best practice and regulatory cornerstone of both the food safety. However, its use in Africa has been limited particularly in the informal sector where risk control measures are insufficient or almost absent due to the lack of risk surveillance system. New approaches are being designed and validated and combine –participation- approaches to OIE and FAO/ WHO methods. The Participatory Risk Analysis (PRA) is therefore a combination of participatory approaches (equity, inter-and transdisciplinary) to conventional methods (OIE /WHO/ FAO), which takes into account the variability, uncertainty, relativity and complexity of decision making. The PRA captures through interviews and focus group discussions, large complex qualitative data to explain the quantitative biological data that might escape the medical sector especially in terms of exposure, dose-response and risk characterization. APR is promoted to capture perceptions and motivations of stakeholders in the informal sector as to co-develop good tools and methods of risk from their sanitary, sociocultural and economic component. The APR applied in Africa also provides a combination of several data collection techniques, to reduce the cost of risk analysis and to better define decisions. Risk analysis methods is a linear process, complex and difficult to implement in the informal sector. The participation of the various categories of stakeholders and taking into account their knowledge and expertise can contribute to a more sophisticated analysis of food hazards for effective concerted and sustainable risk management. Thanks to the Safe Food Fair Food project (GIZ/BMZ) and the Afrique One Consortium (Wellcome Trust), a capacity building program on APR was implemented in different universities in Africa and now tries to bring all stakeholders on board.

3    QMRAcatch – A User-friendy Computational Tool for Microbial Quality Simulations of Fresh Water Including Risk Assessment . Schijven J*; Derx J; de Roda Husman AM; Blaschke AP; Farnleitner AH    (167)

Abstract: A computational interactive tool named QMRAcatch was developed to simulate concentrations in fresh water of waterborne pathogenic microorganisms (enterovirus, norovirus, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium), microbial fecal indicators and genetic faecal markers (E. coli and Bacteroidetes marker). The aqueous domain encompasses a river in which microorganisms enter by means of raw and treated wastewater discharges, runoff from agricultural land and a floodplain and from direct fecal input. Exposure to these microorganisms occurs from swallowing of water during bathing or from consumption of drinking water that was produced from treating the river water by riverbank filtration. The processes that determine microorganism concentrations in the river are dilution and temperature-dependent inactivation or die-off. Travel times in the river are calculated on the basis of the Manning-Gauckler-Strickler formula for gravelly or sandy river beds. On the basis of precipitation and amounts of manure and fecal droppings, pathogen concentrations in suspended feces on land are calculated. Part of the suspended pathogens infiltrates into the groundwater and part runs off as described by a runoff coefficient. Infection risks are calculated for exposure via drinking water consumption and via bathing in the river. The tool also calculates required removal by riverbank filtration to not exceed a certain health based target. The tool provides concentration values and parameter values of Gamma distributed concentrations that can be taken as input parameters for source water concentration in QMRAspot or in riverbank filtration models to include a more detailed analysis of drinking water treatment efficiency into the risk assessment.

4    Understanding the Challenge of Antibiotic Resistant Risks. Mitchell J., Michigan State University    (259)

Abstract: The use of antibiotics, and the subsequent emergence of antibiotic resistant disease is a major agricultural and public health concern around the world. Antibiotic usage at subtreatment dosages contribute to the selection pressure for resistance genes, which may persist in the environment as mobile genetic elements. The presence of antibiotic resistant genes have been measured in both soil and water environments and due to their high concentrations, ubiquitous nature and augmentation by human activity, they are now considered emerging contaminants (Pruden, 2006). Diseases whose prevalence in the developed world were absent from previous country health reports, have now reemerged due to their antimicrobial resistance (Dye, 2000). Only six major infectious diseases in low income countries account for 39% of all death. Four of these diseases have recently been associated with antimicrobial resistance. The World Health Organization reported a need to eliminate pathways that contribute to the exposure of antibiotic resistant pathogens, resulting in an adverse effect on human health (WHO, 2000). Use of the antibiotics in both human medicine and animal husbandry contribute to the presence of antimicrobial genes within the natural environment. It also poses a threat to water and wastewater treatment facilities that are now tasked with removing these emerging contaminants during their treatment processes. To increase the understanding of the risks associated with the agriculture usage of antibiotics, this study aims to apply the quantitative microbial risk assessment framework to integrate available data on exposure pathways associated with this problem. Currently, insufficient data exists for a comprehensive analysis to determine the extent to which the use of antibiotics in agriculture contribute to the emergence of multidrug resistant disease in humans. By analyzing the important parameters for developing the most accurate model for characterizing the risk, recommendations can be made for future prioritized data collection and modification of agricultural practices.

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