Nav: Home

Making hospitals safer from infection

December 20, 2007

Pittsburgh, Penn. (December 20, 2007) - "One small water line feeding one hospital faucet alone can house millions of bacteria," said international Legionella expert Janet Stout, Ph.D., urging public health and infection control officers to be proactive against Legionella and other waterborne microbes that contribute to soaring hospital infection rates. Communities of waterborne pathogens, known as biofilm, can line every pipe in every water distribution system of every hospital, making their way into faucets, ice machines and showers, where the water may infect patients. In the December 2007 issue of Managing Infection Control, Dr. Stout, Director of the Special Pathogens Laboratory and Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, offers a prescription for prevention and remediation.

Infections acquired in healthcare settings are not confined to hospitals. Nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and other long-term care facilities are equally vulnerable. In the article, "Understanding and Controlling Waterborne Pathogens: Applying Lessons Learned from Legionella," Dr. Stout notes: "Those most at risk from these unseen microbes are the people who are owed a higher level of care" - premature infants and newborns, the elderly, people undergoing cancer treatment or with compromised immune systems, transplant recipients and patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs).

Dr. Stout outlines a protocol for prevention and discusses the technologies found most effective in controlling exposure to waterborne microbes - copper/silver ionization, chlorine dioxide and point-of-use filtration by Pall-Aquasafe™ filters. The best solution, she says, is likely to be a combination of chemical or physical disinfection together with point-of-use filtration. Dr. Stout also presents a surprising finding. She reports on studies showing that electronic, non-touch faucets, which would appear to be a logical solution, have been shown to be a source of dangerous germs that can cause serious pneumonia and other infections.
-end-
About the Special Pathogens Laboratory

Based in Pittsburgh, the Special Pathogens Laboratory (SPL) is an internationally recognized Legionella reference center and analytical microbiology laboratory. SPL provides the healthcare industry, water treatment industry and other commercial and industrial sectors with reliable, high-quality microbiology services specializing in the detection, control and remediation of waterborne pathogens such as Legionella, Pseudomonas, Mycobacteria and other clinically relevant pathogens. The founders of the laboratory, Dr. Victor Yu and Dr. Janet Stout, have over 25 years of experience in infectious disease and microbiology. For more information, visit www.specialpathogenslab.com.

Pall Corporation

Related Legionella Articles:

More than a third of heater-cooler devices used in open heart surgery may be contaminated with deadly bacteria
Thirty-three of 89 (37 percent) heater-cooler units assessed between July 2015 and December 2016 tested positive for Mycobacterium chimaera (M. chimaera), a bacterium associated with fatal infections in open-heart surgery patients, according to new research presented at the 44th Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.
Dramatic cooperation between two infectious bacteria revealed by BIDMC researchers
New methodology allowed researchers at BIDMC to more easily investigate mechanisms of infection and provide new insight into how pathogens can work together to cause disease.
Legionella bacteria's escape route revealed
The precise mechanism used by Legionella bacteria to escape the body's defences has been unpicked in intricate detail and is described for the first time in the journal eLife.
Investigators identify optimal conditions for growth of Legionella bacteria
The bacteria that cause Legionnaire's disease grow well in warm tap water installations with ample dissolved organic matter -- conditions that support the growth of biofilms.
Heating apartment houses sustainably
For the energy transition to be successful, it will also be important to secure heat supply of the housing stock by sustainable technologies.
New chemistry of life
A team of scientists under the lead of Ivan Dikic, Director of the Institute of Biochemistry II at Goethe University Frankfurt, has now discovered a novel mechanism of ubiquitination, by which Legionella bacteria can seize control over their host cells.
November/December 2016 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
This tip sheet features synopses of original research and commentary published in the November/December issue of Annals of Family Medicine.
Clemson students name novel Legionella strain: Clemsonensis
The Clemson family has gained a new namesake: Legionella clemsonensis, a novel strain of the Legionella bacteria, the most common cause of waterborne bacterial outbreaks in the United States.
Clean water-treatment option targets sporadic outbreaks
Environmental and biomedical engineer David Wendell, an associate professor in the University of Cincinnati's College of Engineering and Applied Science, developed a protein-based photocatalyst that uses light to generate hydrogen peroxide to eliminate E. coli, Listeria, and potentially protozoa like giardia and cryptosporidium from drinking water.
Discovery of a new defense system against microbial pathogens
For the first time in the world, a group of researchers discovered a human immune receptor, which detects the invasion of pathogenic microorganisms.

Related Legionella Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...