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University of Barcelona (UB)

Two laboratories in the Department of Microbiology of the UB will participate in this project: the Enteric Virus Laboratory and the Health and Water Microbiology Laboratory. The Enteric Virus Laboratory is devoted to the study of human enteric viral agents as norovirus, sapovirus, astrovirus, rotavirus and hepatitis A virus. It was the first university laboratory in Spain to receive the certification of Good Laboratory Practices for validation studies of viral safety. The Health and Water Microbiology lab has mainly been investigating health related aspects of water microbiology and the characterisation and ecology of phages infecting enteric bacteria, mainly E.coli, Salmonella and Bacteroides. 

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Helmholtz-Zentrum fuer Infecktionsforschun, Braunschweig, Germany

The HZI is a multi-disciplinary Federal-funded application-oriented German research centre for health related research, providing excellent research conditions and well established links with academic and industrial research organizations worldwide. It a member of the Helmholtz Society (HGF) comprising all large research facilities of the Federal Government of Germany. The focus of the HZI research is on human health and infectious diseases. The HZI has extensive facilities for DNA/RNA-fingerprint techniques, real-time PCR, automatic sequencing, next generation sequencing facility, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, fluorescent and confocal laser scanning microscopy, image-analysis systems, capillary electrophoresis, FACScan, state of the art facilities for cellular cultures and animal studies to handle all types of pathogenic microorganisms (S2,S3).


The Molecular Diagnostics Group of the HZI is imbedded in the Department of Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology. The core team of this group has been working in the fields of aquatic microbial ecology and taxonomy since 1985. Central to its work was the development and application of classical and molecular approaches to understand the biodiversity of bacterial communities in aquatic habitats and specifically of waterborne pathogens such as Vibrio spp. and Legionella spp.. In the last years, the development of molecular detection tools and the study of the microbial ecology of pathogenic waterborne bacteria were the prime focus of the group. The group has coordinated during the last decade two EU-projects (FP5: AQUA-CHIP 2001-2004, FP6: HEALTHY WATER 2006- 2010) dealing with microbial pathogens in drinking and bathing water. The HZI will lead for Cluster 1 "Microbiology" and WP 3. At the level of RTD, the HZI will advance the development of molecular detection, quantification and identification of waterborne bacterial pathogens. It will develop the high resolution and High-Through-Put Technology (HTS) diagnostics for bacterial pathogens and validate these technologies with certified molecular reference material.

Work Package 3 :

Public Health Wales, United Kingdom (PHL)

Public Health Wales is a National Health Service (NHS) organisation providing professionally independent public health advice and services to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of the Welsh population. It is the host organisation of the national Cryptosporidium Reference Unit (CRU) which offers reference services for: differential diagnosis and confirmation of referred isolates of Cryptosporidium, specialist testing for the detection of Cryptosporidium in immune-compromised patients at high risk, typing of referred isolates to support outbreak/cluster investigations and for epidemiological surveillance, evaluation of new laboratory methods for Cryptosporidium, provision of positive control and training materials, consultation advice on diagnostic methods and management of cryptosporidiosis, advice on the investigation, epidemiology, control and prevention of Cryptosporidium, and R & D activities in relation to our reference functions. The research activities of the CRU are spread across several different areas but include improving diagnosis and detection of Cryptosporidium and related protozoan parasites (e.g. Giardia, Cyclospora) in clinical and environmental samples, molecular typing to the species and subtype levels and sero-epidemiology. The CRU has strong expertise in the diagnosis and management of protozoan parasitic diseases, outbreak investigation and management, epidemiology, environmental detection and molecular typing.

Technical University of Denmark (DTU), National Food Institute (FOOD), Diagnostic Engineering (DE)

Technical University of Denmark (DTU), National Food Institute (FOOD), Diagnostic Engineering (DE) belongs to Division of Food Microbiology, DTU-FOOD. DTU-Food is a research institute focusing on public health in relation to all aspects of food products throughout the entire food chain, primary production, processing and consumer. Activities include research, scientifically based risk assessments and advisory services to Danish and international authorities and industry. DTU-FOOD monitors food consumption patterns and the national food safety situation, and provide diagnostic and analytic services mainly based on accredited and standardised methods. DTU-FOOD serves as an international reference laboratory for the EU, WHO and EFSA in a number of areas.

Technical University of Denmark, Department of Environmental Engineering (DTU ENV)

Technical University of Denmark, Department of Environmental Engineering (DTU ENV) is working at the highest international level to develop new environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies and to disseminate this knowledge to society and new generations of engineers. The activities in research, teaching and innovation focus on Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology, Residual Resource Engineering, Urban Water Engineering, Water Resources Engineering. Water supply, wastewater treatment and water handling in urban areas are important and the effect of climate changes on urban water is investigated. The Department has considerable expertise in groundwater, surface water and drinking water, and management of water resources.

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) teaches and performs research in all fields of Life Sciences.  The virology division belongs to the Dept. of Biotechnology and Veterinary Public Health; it shares facilities with the National Veterinary Institute (SVA), which include two BSL3 laboratories and is the main centre in Sweden with the overall responsibility for diagnostic and prophylactic work in veterinary medicine. 

The Joint R&D Division is a leader institution in the establishment of molecular diagnostic techniques in veterinary diagnostic virology and also constitutes the OIE Collaborating Centre for the Biotechnology-based Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases in Veterinary Medicine. The Centre is in close collaboration with the Section for Clinical Virology at the Dep. of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University Hospital.

Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom (HWU)

Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom (HWU) is a research-led technological university established in 1966. The Microsystems Engineering Centre (MISEC) is the 4th largest UK Research Group in microsystems and has a strong expertise in rapid prototyping, bio- MEMS, advanced manufacturing technologies and systems integration. Since being named Centre of Excellence in Microfluidics and micro-actuators in the previous ESPRIT programme, MISEC has taken part in European projects ever since (FP5 IMALP, FP6 NoE Patent- DfMM, FP7 FAMOBS). HWU was the first University in the UK to offer a Master of Science in Microsystems Engineering in 2001. In the European projects, our involvement included technology innovation, system integration and advanced manufacturing techniques for the construction of microsystems.  

Water Technology Center - TZW | Technologiezentrum Wasser

TZW: DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser - the German Water Centre – is part of DVGW e.V. , the German Gas and Waterworks Association, and a non-profit and independent institution. More than 150 employees perform close-to-application research and provide scientific advice. TZW cooperates with water utilities, companies, public authorities and universities.

TZW develops solutions for all areas of national and international water management issues from resource protection via water abstraction and treatment to distribution up to consumers’ tap. Members of our flexible and interdisciplinary teams are experts working in the areas Environmental Biotechnology, Groundwater and Soil, Analysis and Water Quality Assessment, Technology and Economics, Microbiology and Molecular Biology, Test Centre for materials and products in contact with drinking water and Corrosion as well as Distribution Networks and Drinking Water Installations. Therefore, our areas of work cover the entire water cycle and in particular drinking water supply from source to tap.

Instituto Superior Technico, Portugal

The Laboratório de Análises, belonging to Instituto Superior Técnico (LAIST) was created at the end of the nineteenth century. At the present, is organized in four functional subunits three chemistry and one Microbiology unit. The Microbiology area is mainly focused in food and environmental microbiology (bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi). Besides applied research, LAIST is an accredited laboratory for the detection and enumeration of total aerobic microorganisms at (22 ± 2) ºC and at (36 ± 2) ºC, total coliforms and Escherichia coli, intestinal enterococci, all of them by culture methods and most probable number, for Mycobacterium spp., Legionella spp. and Legionella pneumophila (culture and qPCR), Clostridium perfringens, Somatic Coliphages, F+ Specific Bacteriophages, total and coagulase positive Staphylococcus, Salmonella spp., Enterovirus by cell culture, Endotoxins, fungi, and toxicity. LAIST implemented several PCR and qPCR methods for different enteric viruses, protozoa, and bacteria. LAIST laboratory facilities correspond to a class 3 security laboratory. The Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering (IBB) combines its R&D activities with advanced education, technology transfer, consulting and services. The output of IBB-IST activities includes the publication of 336 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and 36 PhD theses among other publications.

The University of Iceland (UI)

UoI was ranked among the 300 best universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education Supplement in October 2011. The University of Iceland School of Engineering and Natural Sciences (SENS) is a leader in teaching and research in the fields of engineering, computer science and natural sciences in Iceland. SENS´s research is centred within a number of institutes  including the Science Institute, Earth Sciences Institute, Life and Environmental Sciences Institute, Engineering Institute, the Institute of Environmental Engineering (IEE), and is affiliated with the interdisciplinary Sæmundur Fróði Sustainable Development Institute. SENS is currently participating in 16 EU projects and a further 5 projects are in the negotiation stage. The Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering has a diverse educational, industrial and research experience, and are active in many of the principal areas of Civil and Environmental Engineering. They participate in the international projects FloodFreq, PRETEAR, AirCraftFire, Geothermal ERA-net, and GEORG-GEOthermal Research Group, as well as a multitude of nordic and national research projects.

URV - University Rovira & Virgili, Reus, Spain

The URV was created as an independent University from University of Barcelona in 1992. The group has been responsible for more than 21 years of the Microbiological control of bathing waters through a contract established with the Environmental Department of the Catalan Government. Within this monitoring programme ca. 80.000 analyses for indicator organisms of faecal pollution (total coliforms, faecal coliforms, E. coli and enterococci) have been performed as well as more than 700 analyses for detection of Salmonella. The Unit had become a reference laboratory on water microbiology. The group had participated in several EU founded projects linked to drinking and bathing water quality (AQUACHIP, EpiBathe and Healthy Water) and the impact of climate change, the last one sponsored by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The research group MicroAqua had received in 2011 the accreditation ISO9001.

The group has a large experience on genomic targets (16S rDNA, and other housekeeping genes), fingerprinting techniques and detection of genes that encode virulence factors in the genus Aeromonas. We have discovered for the first time in Aeromonas the existence of Shiga toxin genes and the capacity of these bacteria to produce Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, as well as several new relevant clinical species. The same have been done for Arcobacter, which is a poorly know genus of bacteria that is often confused with Campylobacter and that has a high incidence in food products mainly retailed meat and that has been associated with drinking water outbreaks. 


Moredun Research Institute [MRI] UK

Moredun Research Institute conducts internationally recognised research on the infectious diseases of livestock, caused by important bacteria, viruses and parasites. Based in Scotland, it employs 170 scientists and vets who work to improve animal health and welfare, ensure food safety, reduce adverse impacts on the environment, and to contribute to sustainable communities through economic development across Scotland and beyond. Moredun’s research focuses on understanding the interaction of the disease pathogen with the host species, in identifying new targets for improved diagnostic tests and in development of novel vaccines for many diseases. Moredun has state of the art facilities including specialist laboratories, ACDP Category 2 and 3 laboratories to enable work with a wide range of pathogens and animal handling facilities to work with livestock and laboratory animal species.

University of Surrey

The University of Surrey is a public university with charitable status. The university has a strong emphasis on research with several research centres that rank within the top three in the UK. It consists of four faculties, each housing a number of academic departments, of which the Postgraduate Medical School, RCPEH will participate in this project. The RCPEH is the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for the Protection of Water Quality and Human Health.

Technische Universitaet Vienna / Vienna University of Technology (TU WIEN)

The Research Group Environmental Microbiology and Molecular Ecology, Institute of Chemical Engineering, Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) led by Andreas Farnleitner will contribute to WP5. The group´s work has especially been emphasised on molecular diagnostic techniques and source tracking of microbes and the development of new microbial indicators. In this respect, the group will substantially contribute to the research goals related to source tracking in WP5.

Recently the Inter-University Cooperation Centre for Water & Health (ICC Water & Health) was established between the Medical University of Vienna and the TU WIEN. Four labs (i.e. Regina Sommer Lab, Alexander Kirschner Lab, Paul Blaschke Lab and Farnleitner Lab) are collaborating closely together. Although the main working load of WP 5 will be performed at the Farnleitner Lab, support will be given for the cultivation-based parameters by the Sommer Lab and the Kirschner Lab.

Medical University Vienna (MUW)

The research group “Ecology of Health Relevant Microorganisms” at the Unit for Water Hygiene (Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology, Medical University Vienna, MUW) led by Alexander Kirschner will contribute to Work Package 7. The group´s work has recently been focusing on direct detection of pathogenic microorganisms based on epifluorescence microscopy and solid phase cytometry. In this respect, the group will substantially contribute to the research goals formulated in WP7, concerning detection of pathogenic bacteria and Cryptosporidium via fluorescence in situ hybridisation and immunofluorescence.

Recently the Inter-university Cooperation Centre for Water & Health (ICC Water & Health) was established between the MUW and the Vienna University of Technology. Four labs (i.e. Andreas Farnleitner Lab, Paul Blaschke Lab, Regina Sommer Lab and Alexander Kirschner Lab) are collaborating closely together. Although main working load of Cluster 2 will be performed at the Kirschner Lab, support will be given for some molecular biological tasks by Farnleitner Lab and some cultivation-based parameters by the Sommer Lab. See TU WEIN here above.

Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy (UNIGE)

UNIGE has a strong participation both in EC Framework Programmes and in other international research and cooperation programmes that are spread across several different scientific areas. UNIGEs contribution to AQUAVALENS comes from the Microbiology team of DIP.TE.RIS who is experienced in the field of microbial ecology and pathogenicity of environmental pathogens. Some studies will be performed in collaboration with the Microbiology team of DISC who is experienced in the field of human infectious 55 disease and molecular epidemiology. Involved laboratories are equipped with all basic and advanced instruments in the fields of Microbiology and Molecular Biology.

National Food Agency (Livsmedels Verket), Sweden

National Food Agency (Livsmedels Verket), Sweden has the overall responsibility for food safety, including drinking water in Sweden and has the direct supervision of the major food producers and supports the municipals in their supervision of minor food producers and handlers. The Science Department includes divisions of chemistry and microbiology. The main work of the  Microbiology Division includes microbiological surveillance studies and method development. Diagnostic methods for bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses for both food and water are developed. The Microbiology division also organizes proficiency schemes for both food and drinking water, slightly more than 100 laboratories participate in each of the two rounds organized for drinking water per year. The laboratory is accredited according to ISO17025 and equipped with modern instruments facilitating both traditional and molecular microbiology research. We also contribute to method standardization by participating in working groups for ISO/CEN and NMKL.

University of Helsinki (UH)

University of Helsinki (UH)  is the highest ranked university in Finland. Several top research groups, performing studies with bacteria, viruses and parasites are working at the Department of Food Hygiene and Environmental Health in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Research of microbiological food safety (including water) is mentioned as a focus point in the strategic plan of the faculty. The Department of Food Hygiene and Environmental health is located in Viikki campus in a new building with modern laboratory facilities.

Moredun Scientific

Moredun Scientific is a Contract Research Organisation specialising in testing the efficacy and safety of veterinary medicinal products in livestock for the global animal health industry, including the testing of samples through a range of validated assays. Moredun Scientific is accredited to both Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and conducts all work to established quality standards. Moredun Scientific personnel are experienced in the conduct of projects to specified protocols and time schedules and have more than 10 years of experience in the production and purification of Cryptosporidium oocytes for both commercial and research application.

Faculty of Agriculture University of Belgrade, Serbia

Faculty of Agriculture University of Belgrade, Serbia covers all aspects of agricultural production and food technology: from crop science and fruit science and viticulture to food technology. Within the Department of Food Safety and Food Quality Management novel research and education lines were set to cover important factors in reducing the burden of food-borne disease and warrant consumer-demanded food quality. Much effort has been given to the work on improved ability to primarily detect and investigate food safety hazards, and then to develop effective and for the quality acceptable control measures within integrated food safety management systems. The partner holds profound expertise in food production and processing and is the key player in academic, research and industrial activities regarding food chain know-how in Serbia. Main activities relevant to the project are those related to the food technology of plant origin, food safety and food quality management and primary agricultural production. University of Belgrade is also involved in the FP7 project Veg-i-Trade.

The James Hutton Institute

The James Hutton Institute was formed recently when the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute joined forces with Scottish Crop Research Institute to create one of the world’s leading scientific organisations focused on water, environment, land and crops. Our research builds on established understanding of the need to manage water in a holistic and interdisciplinary manner. We use a catchment to coast approach to ensure land and water are considered in an integrated fashion.

University of Bern, Switzerland

The University of Bern offers top quality across the board: it enjoys special recognition in leading-edge disciplines. It includes 8 faculties and some 160 institutes that can in some cases date back to the sixteenth century. It boasts 13,000 students and national centres for Research, in Climate, North South relations and Trade regulation.