Tag Archives: Legionella

Water is a source of secondary infection that cannot be overlooked

threeWater 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.”

Facility operations must be part of infection control programs

Emergency Room SignHospitals often mistakenly view their facility operations outside the sphere of infection control. This is misguided because infection control is a multifaceted problem. It requires a multi-disciplinary approach to be effective. Microbiologists, infection control specialists, medical device companies, facility engineers and others must be brought into the equation to communicate and arrive at comprehensive plans to combat the spread of infection.

How to stop and outbreak is a detailed audio report that provides excellent insight the Legionella outbreak last summer in New York City as well as the way it was handled. The broadcast reiterates that infection control is closely tied to HVAC systems and plumbing.

Air also is a major component in infection control. Airborne transmission of disease in hospitals is a splendid study done by engineers, microbiologists and mathematicians that lays out the problem in a clear, methodical method. The study supports the evidence that shows that the maintenance crews should be integral parts of infection control programs.