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Exposure of water consumers to mesophilic actinomycetes

Exposure of water consumers to mesophilic actinomycetes

Journal of Hygiene 91(3): 535-541

In autumn 1978 an epidemic of respiratory disease resembling allergic alveolitis occurred in a small Finnish community. The disease was caused by repeated exposures to tap water aerosol. The raw water of the community and the sand filters of the purification system were heavily contaminated with mesophilic actinomycetes. Fourteen different strains of actinomycetes were isolated. Exposed persons with and without symptoms as well as unexposed control persons were tested for antibodies against five of these actinomycetes and against Enterobacter agglomerans. Both the exposed and the control persons had antibodies to actinomycetes but the exposed persons had antibodies against more actinomycete strains than the control persons. Precipitating antibodies against E. agglomerans were also found in control persons as well as in patients. There was a significant difference between the patients and the exposed healthy persons in bacterial agglutination tests with flagellar antigen of one E. agglomerans strain. However, the role of mesophilic actinomycetes and E. agglomerans in the aetiology of the disease could not be firmly established.

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Accession: 001364608

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 6663066

DOI: 10.1017/s0022172400060587

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