0.829
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RESEARCH PAPER
 
CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
 
 

Legionella spp., amoebae and not-fermenting Gram negative bacteria in an Italian university hospital water system

 
1
Department of Biomedical Sciences and Morphological and Functional Images, University of Messina, Italy
2
Italian National Research Council, Institute for Coastal Marine Environment, Messina, Italy
Ann Agric Environ Med 2014;21(3):489–493
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
Introduction:
In hospital and other health care facilities, contamination of water systems by potentially infectious microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa, is a source of nosocomial infections, which may originate fromcolonization of water pipes, cooling towers, spa pools, taps, showers and water supplies.

Objective:
The study focuses on the occurrence of Legionella spp., free-living amoebae and non-fermenting Gram-negative microorganisms in a University hospital water system located in the town of Messina (Sicily, Italy), which had never been examined previously

Material and Methods:
Materials and Methods. From January 2008 – March 2009, hot tap water samples were collected from 10 wards. Legionella spp. recovered on selective culture medium were identified by microagglutination latex test; free-living amoebae were cultured using Escherichia coli as a food source. Non-fermenting Gram negative microorganisms were identified by API 20 NE strips.

Results:
Legionella spp. were found in 33.33% of the samples. L. pneumophila serogroup 1 was recovered from the Laboratory Diagnostic and Anaesthesia-Neurology Wards, with a peak of 3.5 × 104 cfu/L in May 2008. L. pneumophila serogroups 2–14 were found in the Othorhinolaryngology, Pathologic Anatomy, Paediatrics and Surgery Wards, and peaked (4 × 104cfu/L) in April 2008. Pseudomonadaceae and Hyphomycetes were also detected. Legionella spp. were recovered from samples positive for non-pathogenic amoebae Hartmannella spp.

Conclusions:
This first study of a Messina hospital water system suggested potential health risks related to the detection of Hartmannella spp., as reservoirs for Legionella spp., and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram negative non-fermenting bacterium frequently causing nosocomial pneumonia. The urgent need for monitoring programmes and prevention measures to ensure hospital water safety is stressed.

eISSN:1898-2263
ISSN:1232-1966