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J Water Health. 2008 Jun;6(2):209-13. doi: 10.2166/wh.2008.032.

Mycobacterium avium in a shower linked to pulmonary disease.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0406, USA.


Mycobacterium avium was isolated from hot and cold water samples and from sediment (biofilm) collected from the showerhead in the home of a woman with M. avium pulmonary disease lacking known M. avium risk factors. IS1245/IS1311 DNA fingerprinting demonstrated that M. avium isolates from the hot and cold water and showerhead sediment demonstrated a clonal relationship with the patient's M. avium isolate. The data provide evidence that showers may serve as sources of infection by waterborne M. avium.

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