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Terms & Synonyms

Official WHO Definition

A group of microorganisms closely related to bacteria. They have a characteristical odour and they are important in wastewater and solid waste stabilization (CEPIS, REPIDISCA 1991).

A group of bacteria that occupy an uncertain position between the bacteria and the true fungi (Symons et al. 2000).

Other Definitions


Interpretations and Explanations

This group includes both anaerobic and aerobic forms, and morphologies range from filamentous forms to show true branching to club-shaped rods to others that demonstrate a large amount of pleomophism during different life stages. This group includes many organisms that produce antibiotic substances. Actinomycetes produce geosmin, 2-methylisoborneol, or both, compounds that produce earthy-musty odors at very low levels (Symons 2000).


[[CEPIS, REPIDISCA (1991) Thesaurus of sanitary engineering and environmental sciences

Symons JM, Bradley LC Jr. and Cleveland TC (2000) The Drinking Water Dictionary. American Water Works Association]]

WHO Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

External Resources


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