Virulence Factor Activity Relationships: Challenges and Development Approaches

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Virulence factor activity relationships (VFAR) is a predictive approach proposed by the National Research Council's Committee on Drinking Water Contaminants (Washington, D.C.) to classify and rank waterborne pathogens. It is based on the presumption that health threats of waterborne pathogens can be predicted from descriptors at different levels of cellular organization. This paper summarizes challenges that need to be addressed while developing VFAR, with a focus on genomics, such as genomic variability among related pathogens and the need to incorporate genetic descriptors for persistence and host susceptibility. Three key components of VFAR development and validation are also presented, including (1) compilation of a comprehensive VFAR database, (2) development of predictive mathematical models relating descriptors to health effects and other microbial responses, and (3) high-throughput molecular monitoring of drinking water supplies and sources. Bayesian approach and on-chip polymerase chain reaction are discussed as examples of mathematical models and molecular monitoring.
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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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