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Paratuberculosis and Crohn's Disease: Got Milk?
by Michael Greger, MD
Updated January 2001


Municipal water supplies must also be assessed for risk because surface waters contaminated by agricultural run-off feed the domestic water supplies of many communities in the United States.[115] One of the reasons why paraTB has been called a "superbug" is because of its ability to survive in the environment for prolonged periods.[160] Mycobacteria like paraTB are one of the oldest forms of life. They have survived on this planet for over a billion years which has allowed them to adapt.[67] In the environment, MAP has a thick, waxy cell wall which protects it[121] -- it can last for 9 months in mud,[139] almost a year in manure,76 and two years in water. Standard domestic water treatment such as filtration and chlorination are probably ineffective against paraTB.[115]

There have been a few disconcerting143 reports of MAP bacteria cultured from drinking water, both in Europe188 and from the water supply of a major American city.[14] Europe's Drinking Water Inspectorate has commissioned a study into the distribution and fate of MAP in drinking water treatment;[91] the same inquiry should be happening here.

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