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Wed, 24 Jul 2024 10:09:25 -0500
2019-09-12 Print

International researchers discuss the microbiological safety of water in Vienna

The world's largest international water hygiene conference is being held in Vienna September 15th to 20th.


The quality of the water used as drinking water, irrigation, aquaculture, food processing or recreational activities has significant public health implications worldwide. Pollution from fecal pathogens continues to be a major concern for health in the environment, water and food. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals therefore include providing the entire world population with safe drinking water by 2030.

Water experts from more than 40 nations in Vienna
As part of the world's largest water hygiene congress in Vienna, 300 international scientists from more than 40 nations present their research on the campus of the University of Vienna. The symposium will bring together researchers, policymakers, science, industry, water suppliers, national authorities and administrations, as well as experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), to share the latest scientific knowledge, experience and expertise.

The symposium, organized by the International Water Association's (IWA) Health-Related Water Microbiology (HRWM) Specialist Group, is run by the Inter-University Cooperation Center ICC Water and Health ( of the MedUni Vienna, the Vienna University of Technology and the Karl Landsteiner University Krems (KL) and supported by the Austrian Society for Hygiene, Microbiology and Preventive Medicine (OGHMP). The IWA HRWM Specialist Group addresses all aspects of human and public health where water plays the role of a vector or reservoir of pathogens.

Research on microbial contamination of water
Among the main topics of the symposium are the research on pathogens transmitted by water, i.e. pathogenic bacteria, parasites and viruses. Particular attention is paid to the development and application of microbiological indicators, diagnostical tools for determining the origin of fecal sources, and the modeling of microbiological water quality and the associated risks to human health. Further important topics are water treatment and -disinfection, water reuse, bathing water and water for recreational activities, and infection control in health facilities. Five workshops such as WHO workshops on antimicrobial resistance and bacteriophages as well as on quantitative microbial risk assessment (QRMA) are organized. Three technical excursions are offered, to the waste water treatment plant Vienna ebs, to the flood control management Danube Island and to the alpine springs and catchments of the First Vienna water supply.

Conference Website:


Press contact:
Barbara M. Peutz
Karl Landsteiner Privatuniversität für Gesundheitswissenschaften
Dr.-Karl-Dorrek-Straße 30
3500 Krems
T: +43 -2732-72090 230
M: +43- 664 -889 558 49

Prof. Andreas Farnleitner (conference president)
Karl Landsteiner University Krems
Department Pharmacology, Physiologie and Microbiology
T: +43-2732-72090390

Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Regina Sommer (conference president)
Medical University Vienna
Zentrum für Pathophysiologie, Infektiologie und Immunologie
Institut für Hygiene und Angewandte Immunologie
T: +431-40160-33051 (Sekr.-33050)

About Karl Landsteiner University Krems
Karl Landsteiner University for Health Sciences (KL) is a pioneer for future-oriented, socially relevant teaching and research areas in medicine and health sciences. The university focuses on a cross-curricular, internationally oriented study program in medicine and psychology, which represents a meaningful addition to the classical training offer of public universities. With its Europe-wide recognized Bachelor-Master-System, KL is a flexible educational institution that is tailored to the needs of students and the needs of the labor market. In research, KL concentrates on niche fields in health policy relevant disciplines such as medical technology, psychodynamics and psychology as well as water quality and the associated health aspects. KL was founded in 2013 and accredited by the Austrian Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation (AQ Austria).

About the Medical University Vienna
The Medical University of Vienna (in short: MedUni Vienna) is one of the most traditional medical training and research facilities in Europe. With around 8,000 students, it is today the largest medical training center in the German-speaking world. With 5,500 employees, 26 university hospitals and three clinical institutes, 12 medical-theoretical centers and numerous highly specialized laboratories, it is also one of the most important biomedical research centers in Europe.

About the Interuniversity Cooperation Centre for Water & Health
The Inter-University Cooperation Center for Water and Health (ICC Water & Health) sees itself as a scientific platform and competent partner in questions of water quality and its impact on human health. The ICC is dedicated to the development of innovative concepts for assessing water quality, new microbiological and molecular biology methods, efficacy testing of physical and chemical treatment methods, and numerical models for estimating the risk of infection and disease in water use. The lessons learned will be used to derive effective and sustainable health management measures. The ICC was founded by the Vienna University of Technology and the Medical University of Vienna in 2010 and has been sustainably established thanks to the competitive research funding of the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW). In 2017, ICC Water & Health was expanded to include the Karl Landsteiner University for Health Sciences (KL). KL is now an official part of the research platform.

Contact Info

Phone: 0043 1 505 70 44