Legionella spp. and other opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens (OPPPs), including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Mycobacterium avium, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, and Acinetobacter baumannii, are normal inhabitants of natural waters, drinking water distribution systems and premise plumbing. Thus, humans are regularly exposed to these pathogens. Unfortunately, Legionella spp. and the other OPPPs share a number of features that allow them to grow and persist in premise plumbing. They form biofilms and are also relatively disinfectant-resistant, able to grow at low organic matter concentrations, and able to grow under stagnant conditions. Infections have been traced to exposure to premise plumbing or aerosols generated in showers. A number of measures can lead to reduction in OPPP numbers in premise plumbing, including elevation of water heater temperatures.
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