Water is vital to the survival of majority of life on earth. It is well known that the majority of the diseases are caused due to contamination of water. It has been estimated by World Health Organization(WHO) that almost 88% of the known human diseases are either Water-Borne or water plays a crucial role in the cause of disease like in case of dracunculiasis. One of the important reason for water borne diseases is the biological contamination of water. There are many pathogenic microorganisms which are introduced into the water system through various means (eg. urine and faeces of infected patients ,untreated sewage and industrial waste) and eventually innocent people get exposed to these pathogens through contaminated drinking water, washing or bathing, aerosols, water drops and unhygienic food etc. The water borne pathogenic microorganisms include bacteria, virus, protozoa, helminths and fungi. The most common symptoms reported for waterborne illness are diarrhea and vomiting.
Waterborne diseases occur worldwide but it is less prominent in developed (western) countries as compared to developing countries reason being the high standards of hygienic measurements. The concept of personal and food hygiene is yet to be implemented as a minimum standard of living in developing countries. Clean water is a pre-requisite for reducing the spread of water-borne diseases. Thus, the identification and proper treatment of pathogenic microorganism in water system is crucial for the complete removal of the water borne diseases.
To detect these pathogenic organisms in drinking water several methods are available such as conventional microscopic examinations and biochemical assays, and modern molecular techniques.
The available conventional methods for detecting microorganisms are not sufficient as per the demand, because they involve lot of time as well as the cost. So the development of new techniques for quick detection of microorganism is essential for the benefit of humans.
The molecular techniques are more accurate & efficient and certainly can meet the expectations with full satisfaction. But the problem associated with molecular techniques is the scarcity of available genomic sequences and therefore the molecular diagnostic kit available in the market are very expensive.
But in recent years, with the advancement of sequencing technology (like WGS, NGS), availability of molecular sequences has increased tremendously, as a result, daily a huge amount of genomic sequences are being deposited in public databanks such as NCBI.
Besides, there are many genome project which are under progress and the data will be available soon. The emergence of Bioinformatics has drastically transformed the biological research.
The Database of Specific Primers & Probe for Water Pathogens (DOPWAP)
is a specialized databases containing very specific information on the PCR based detection of microorganisms using specific primers and probes.
The database was constructed keeping in view the WHO list of water pathogens. The current database contain 46 water pathogens which are harmful to the human and are responsible for various human diseases. The dataset incorporates all major water pathogens including Bacteria(23), Fungi(8), Protozoa(7) and Virus(8).
The present database focuses only on those microorganisms which are present in different water bodies and are responsible for causing human disease. This database in no way describes the biochemistry or other etiology of disease. Rather it focuses only on the molecular based detection of the respective microorganisms.