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Can J Microbiol. 1998 Nov;44(11):1019-28.

Biofilms, infectious agents, and dental unit waterlines: a review.

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Department of Stomatology, Faculty of Dentistry, Université de Montréal, Canada.


Aquatic biofilms, which are widespread not only in nature but also in medical and dental devices, can be the source of serious nosocomial infections. In these hardy microbial communities, pathogens like nontuberculous mycobacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Legionella pneumophila, and other bacteria not only survive but proliferate and lie in wait for susceptible hosts. Not only are these organisms intrinsically resistant to high temperatures and biocides, but the biofilms they inhabit enhance their resistance. This should be of concern to infection control practitioners. The bacterial colonization of dental unit waterlines can be used as a model to investigate the problem of waterborne biofilms in health care settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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