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Survival of Legionella pneumophila and Salmonella typhimurium in biofilm systems



Survival of Legionella pneumophila and Salmonella typhimurium in biofilm systems



Water Science & Technology 35(11-12): 293-300



Biofilms are found in many water supply systems where they form an environment in which different bacteria can be entrapped for long periods. Besides the aesthetic aspect, biofilm has a major contribution in biocorrosion, disinfection inefficiency and possibly may act as a reservoir for pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms. In the present study, two pathogenic bacteria Legionella pneumophila and Salmonella typhimurium WG-49 were introduced into a biofilm simulation flow system supplied with sterile and nonsterile tap water. The survival of these microorganisms into the biofilm formed on glass and PVC coupons at two temperatures (24 degree C and 36 degree C) was compared in this system. On glass supports, under sterile conditions at 36 degree C, Legionella pneumophila sg3 decreased by 6 logs during 40d continuous recirculation. Under nonsterile conditions, L. pneumophila decreased by only half log lt 48d. S. typhimurium WG-49 under the same conditions showed an increase of 3 logs in the sterile system for 31d, while in the non-sterile system it dropped by only 0.5 log for 20d. At 24 degree C, L. pneumophila remained stable for gt 40d under sterile conditions. In non-sterile conditions, L. pneumophila dropped by 1 log for 35d. S. typhimurium, in a sterile system, remained almost unchanged, while in the non-sterile system an increase of 3 logs was observed for the first 21d and thereafter a decrease of 2 logs for the next 21d of the experiment. L. pneumophila on PVC coupons at 36 degree C survived better compared with glass support. The experimental data show that survival of pathogenic microorganisms into biofilm is variable and depends on many factors, making the survival prediction a difficult task. However, the survival results of L. pneumophila and S. typhimurium in time terms should raise important questions on their potential threat in water distribution systems.

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Accession: 002973095

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DOI: 10.1016/s0273-1223(97)00275-8


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