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J Hosp Infect. 1990 Jul;16(1):9-18.

The efficacy of chlorination and filtration in the control and eradication of Legionella from dental chair water systems.

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Department of Oral Microbiology, King's College School of Medicine and Dentistry, London.

Erratum in

  • J Hosp Infect 1990 Nov;16(4):393.


The apparent failure of hyperchlorination and continuous dosing with chlorine to eliminate legionellae from a dental teaching hospital water supply prompted a prospective study to evaluate charcoal filters as a means of decontamination. Legionella pneumophila serogroup 10 and L. bozemanii serogroup 2 were isolated from dental units yielding 10(1)-10(3) colony forming units (cfu) ml-1 with total bacterial counts in the range 10(2)-greater than 10(4) cfu ml-1. After chair-side installation of charcoal filters bacterial contamination of the dental unit water was prevented and legionellae were initially not detected, but after 7 days the total count returned to pre-filtration levels of greater than 10(4) cfu ml-1; L. pneumophila serogroup 10 was eliminated but L. bozemanii serogroup 2 persisted. These results suggest that neither chlorination nor charcoal filtration deal adequately with the potential hazard of Legionella spp. in dental water.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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