Water is a source of secondary infection. Chlorination is commonly used to control levels of bacteria in drinking water; however, viable bacteria may remain due to chlorine resistance, according to a piece at PubMed (Relationship between antibiotic- and disinfectant-resistance profiles in bacteria harvested from tap water.) What is concerning, the piece notes, “is that surviving bacteria, due to co-selection factors, may also have increased resistance to common antibiotics. This would pose a public health risk as it could link resistant bacteria in the natural environment to human population. . . . The presence of chlorine-resistant bacteria surviving in drinking-water systems may carry additional risk of antibiotic resistance.”
Healthcare costs for infections linked to bacteria in water supply systems are rising at Science Daily, is a new analysis of 100 million Medicare records from US adults aged 65 and older reveals rising healthcare costs for infections associated with some disease-causing bacteria, such as Legionella, which can live inside drinking water distribution systems and household plumbing.
Impact of Water Chemistry, Pipe Material and Stagnation on the Building Plumbing Microbiome at PLOS One reports that “a unique microbiome establishes in the portion of the potable water distribution system within homes and other buildings (i.e., building plumbing). . . . Data were examined across utilities to identify a true universal core, special core, and peripheral organisms to deepen insight into the physical and chemical factors that shape the building plumbing microbiome.”