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Control of Legionella pneumophila in a hospital water system by chlorine dioxide

Control of Legionella pneumophila in a hospital water system by chlorine dioxide
Control of Legionella pneumophila in a hospital water system by chlorine dioxide

Immuno-compromised patients are particularly susceptible to Legionnaires' Disease. After three cases of the disease occurred in a hospital, a continuous dosing regime using chlorine dioxide was initiated to replace chlorination of the water system. This study identified a number of factors which may have resulted in conditions that would encourage the growth of the water-borne pathogen Legionella pneumophila. The residual chlorination was inadequate for microbial control at the taps furthest from the four storage tanks, of which two were found to be in excess for demand. The temperature of the water in the storage tanks was also found to be above 20° C; a temperature that would encourage microbial growth. A back-up calorifier was present and was found to contain L. pneumophila, and linseed oil-based sealants that provide nutrients for microbial growth were also prevalent as jointing compounds in the water circult. Although the shower heads were routinely disinfected, a requirement was identified to also disinfect the shower hoses. No L. pneumophila were recovered from the water system after the chlorine reduced dioxide disinfection trial. Biofilm was also dramatically reduced after disinfection; however, small microcolonies were identified and proved to be metabolically active when tested with a metabolic indicator. Using light and fluorescence microscopy, the pipe samples removed from the water system were rapidly analysed for biofouling, complementing existing microbiological methods.

biofilms, chlorine dioxide, copper, fluorescence microscopy, hospital, Legionella pneumophila, water system
0169-4146
384-390
Walker, J. T.
2bb5ed4e-d929-47e4-97ba-70641716acd7
Mackerness, C. W.
414804a3-28d0-4b56-99c0-ac77c1f37ca3
Mallon, D.
0128d837-81b8-4035-a709-8b78fdc3ddbd
Makin, T.
b2aecacb-514a-47fb-a137-09fb49171e90
Williets, T.
e8fbe4f4-21a7-43c4-9643-22f4d48e773e
Keevil, C. W.
cb7de0a7-ce33-4cfa-af52-07f99e5650eb
Walker, J. T.
2bb5ed4e-d929-47e4-97ba-70641716acd7
Mackerness, C. W.
414804a3-28d0-4b56-99c0-ac77c1f37ca3
Mallon, D.
0128d837-81b8-4035-a709-8b78fdc3ddbd
Makin, T.
b2aecacb-514a-47fb-a137-09fb49171e90
Williets, T.
e8fbe4f4-21a7-43c4-9643-22f4d48e773e
Keevil, C. W.
cb7de0a7-ce33-4cfa-af52-07f99e5650eb

Walker, J. T., Mackerness, C. W., Mallon, D., Makin, T., Williets, T. and Keevil, C. W. (1995) Control of Legionella pneumophila in a hospital water system by chlorine dioxide. Journal of Industrial Microbiology, 15 (4), 384-390. (doi:10.1007/BF01569995).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Immuno-compromised patients are particularly susceptible to Legionnaires' Disease. After three cases of the disease occurred in a hospital, a continuous dosing regime using chlorine dioxide was initiated to replace chlorination of the water system. This study identified a number of factors which may have resulted in conditions that would encourage the growth of the water-borne pathogen Legionella pneumophila. The residual chlorination was inadequate for microbial control at the taps furthest from the four storage tanks, of which two were found to be in excess for demand. The temperature of the water in the storage tanks was also found to be above 20° C; a temperature that would encourage microbial growth. A back-up calorifier was present and was found to contain L. pneumophila, and linseed oil-based sealants that provide nutrients for microbial growth were also prevalent as jointing compounds in the water circult. Although the shower heads were routinely disinfected, a requirement was identified to also disinfect the shower hoses. No L. pneumophila were recovered from the water system after the chlorine reduced dioxide disinfection trial. Biofilm was also dramatically reduced after disinfection; however, small microcolonies were identified and proved to be metabolically active when tested with a metabolic indicator. Using light and fluorescence microscopy, the pipe samples removed from the water system were rapidly analysed for biofouling, complementing existing microbiological methods.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 14 August 1995
Published date: 1 October 1995
Keywords: biofilms, chlorine dioxide, copper, fluorescence microscopy, hospital, Legionella pneumophila, water system

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 431229
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/431229
ISSN: 0169-4146
PURE UUID: f77aabd5-b2f6-4cd0-b6df-8a868c508e11
ORCID for C. W. Keevil: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1917-7706

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 May 2019 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 08:33

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Contributors

Author: J. T. Walker
Author: C. W. Mackerness
Author: D. Mallon
Author: T. Makin
Author: T. Williets
Author: C. W. Keevil ORCID iD

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