A systematic review of waterborne and water-related disease in animal populations of Florida from 1999–2019

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Background Florida’s waters are a reservoir for a host of pathogens and toxins. Many of these microorganisms cause water-related diseases in people that are reportable to the Florida Department of Health. Our objective in this review was to ascertain which water-related pathogens and toxins of public health importance have been found in animal populations in Florida over the last twenty years. Methods Nineteen databases were searched, including PubMed and Web of Science Core Collection, using keywords and search terms for the waterborne diseases, water-related vector-borne diseases, and water-based toxins reportable to the Florida Department of Health. For inclusion, peer-reviewed journal articles were to be written in English, published between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2019, and contain primary research findings documenting at least one of the water-related pathogens or toxins of interest in an animal population within Florida during this same time frame. Results Of over eight thousand initial search results, 65 studies were included for final analysis. The most common animal types implicated in the diseases of interest included marine mammals, fish and shellfish, wild birds, and livestock. Toxins or pathogens most often associated with these animals included toxin-producer Karenia brevis, vibriosis, Escherichia coli, and Salmonellosis. Discussion/conclusion Findings from this review elucidate the water-related disease-causing pathogens and toxins which have been reported within animal populations in recent Florida history. As most of these diseases are zoonotic, our results suggest a One Health approach is necessary to support and maintain healthy water systems throughout the state of Florida for the protection of both human and animal populations.

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7 July 2021

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