Research- Cooccurrence of Five Pathogenic Legionella spp. and Two Free-Living Amoebae Species in a Complete Drinking Water System and Cooling Towers


Pathogenic Legionella species grow optimally inside free-living amoebae to concentrations that increase risks to those who are exposed. The aim of this study was to screen a complete drinking water system and cooling towers for the occurrence of Acanthamoeba spp. and Naegleria fowleri and their cooccurrence with Legionella pneumophilaLegionella anisaLegionella micdadeiLegionella bozemanii, and Legionella longbeachae. A total of 42 large-volume water samples, including 12 from the reservoir (water source), 24 from two buildings (influents to the buildings and exposure sites (taps)), and six cooling towers were collected and analyzed using droplet digital PCR (ddPCR). N. fowleri cooccurred with L. micdadei in 76 (32/42) of the water samples. In the building water system, the concentrations of N. fowleri and L. micdadei ranged from 1.5 to 1.6 Log10 gene copies (GC)/100 mL, but the concentrations of species increased in the cooling towers. The data obtained in this study illustrate the ecology of pathogenic Legionella species in taps and cooling towers. Investigating Legionella’s ecology in drinking and industrial waters will hopefully lead to better control of these pathogenic species in drinking water supply systems and cooling towers. View Full-Text

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