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BMC Infect Dis. 2008 Oct 8;8:133. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-8-133.

Impact of a silver layer on the membrane of tap water filters on the microbiological quality of filtered water.

Author information

1
Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hospital Epidemiology, Medical School Hannover, Germany. Vonberg.Ralf@MH-Hannover.DE

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Bacteria in the hospital's drinking water system represent a risk for the acquisition of a nosocomial infection in the severely immunocompromised host. Terminal tap water filters may be used to prevent nosocomial Legionnaires' disease. We present data from water samples using an improved kind of tap water filters.

METHODS:

In a blinded study on an intermediate care unit of the thoracic surgery department, a modified type of the Germlyser water filter (Aqua-Free Membrane Technology) with a newly-introduced silver layer on the filtration membrane was compared to its preceding type without such a layer on 15 water outlets. We determined growth of Legionella, other pathogenic bacteria, and the total heterotrophic plate count in unfiltered water and filtered water samples after filter usage intervals of 1 through 4 weeks.

RESULTS:

A total of 299 water samples were tested. Twenty-nine of the 60 unfiltered water samples contained Legionella of various serogroups (baseline value). In contrast, all samples filtered by the original water filter and all but one of the water samples filtered by the modified filter type remained Legionella-free. No other pathogenic bacteria were detected in any filtered sample. The total plate count in water samples increased during use of both kinds of filters over time. However, for the first 7 days of use, there were significantly fewer water samples containing >100 CFU per mL when using the new filter device compared with the older filters or taps with no filter. No advantage was seen thereafter.

CONCLUSION:

The use of this type of terminal water filter is an appropriate method to protect immunocompromised patients from water-borne pathogens such as Legionella.

PMID:
18842119
PMCID:
PMC2569947
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2334-8-133
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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