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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1977 Mar;33(3):551-5.

Limax amoebae in public swimming pools of albany, schenectady, and rensselaer counties, new york: their concentration, correlations, and significance.

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Division of Laboratories and Research and Division of Sanitary Engineering, New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York 12201.


A survey was conducted on 30 halogenated public swimming pools, located in Albany, Schenectady, and Rensselaer counties, to determine their open-water limax amoeba densities. Six were outdoor pools. Other variables measured were the standard plate count, total seston, free residual chlorine or bromine, total alkalinity, total hardness, orthophosphate, total soluble phosphorus, specific conductance, pH, temperature, and several engineering parameters including the rate and type of filtration as well as a saturation index. Amoebae were isolated on agar plates at 37 degrees C using heat-killed bacterial suspensions of Enterobacter cloacae or Escherichia coli. Most probable number estimates of amoebic densities ranged from not detectable (<0.01) to 110 amoebae per liter. The median concentration of amoebae was 0.9/liter. Eighty percent of the pools examined had less than 5 amoebae per liter. Significant correlations (P < 0.05) were found between amoebic densities and the log(10) of the standard plate count, orthophosphate, and total soluble phosphorus. No significant difference was found between amoebic densities in outdoor and indoor pools. Preliminary tests for the presence of the human pathogen Naegleria fowleri were inconclusive.


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