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Terms & Synonyms

Official WHO Definition

An organism that is incapable of making its own food, but must feed upon organic compounds produced by other organisms (WHO 2007).Heterotrophs are broadly defined as morganisms that require organic carbon for growth. They include bacteria, yeasts and moulds. A variety of simple culture-based tests that are intended to recover a wide range of microorganisms from water are collectively referred to as "heterotrophic plate count" or "HPC test" procedures. Accordingly, the terms "heterotroph" and "HPC" are not synonymous (WHO 2002).  

Other Definitions


Interpretations and Explanations


WHO (2007) Legionella and the prevention of legionellosisWHO (2002) Heterotrophic Plate Counts and drinking-water safety: The significance of HPCs for water quality and human health


WHO Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

External Resources


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