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Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Print version ISSN 0021-2571


BRIANCESCO, Rossella et al. Non-tuberculous mycobacteria and microbial populations in drinking water distribution systems. Ann. Ist. Super. Sanità [online]. 2010, vol.46, n.3, pp.254-258. ISSN 0021-2571.

Data on the occurrence of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), in parallel with those obtained for bacterial indicators and amoebae, are presented with the aim to collect information on the spread of NTM in drinking water distribution systems in Italy. Samples were collected from taps of hospitals and households in Central and Southern Italy. The concentration values obtained for the more traditional microbial parameters complied with the mandatory requirements for drinking water. Conversely, moderate-to-high microbial loads (till 300 CFU/L) were observed for the NTM. Positive samples were obtained from 62% of the investigated water samples. Analogous results were observed for amoebae showing a higher percentage of positive samples (76%). In terms of public health, the presence of mycobacteria in water distribution systems may represent a potential risk especially for vulnerable people such as children, the elderly or immunocompromised individuals.

Keywords : amoebae; drinking water; atypical mycobacteria; water supply.

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