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Article

Dental Unit Waterlines in Quito and Caracas Contaminated with Nontuberculous Mycobacteria: A Potential Health Risk in Dental Practice

1
Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Central del Ecuador, 170521 Quito, Ecuador
2
Facultad de Medicina. Escuela de Bioanálisis, Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1053 Caracas, Venezuela
3
Instituto de Biomedicina “Dr. Jacinto Convit”, Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1010 Caracas, Venezuela
4
Instituto de Investigación en Salud Pública y Zoonosis CIZ, Universidad Central del Ecuador, 170521 Quito, Ecuador
5
One Health Research Group, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad De Las Américas, 170504 Quito, Ecuador
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The three authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2348; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072348
Received: 20 January 2020 / Revised: 16 February 2020 / Accepted: 20 February 2020 / Published: 31 March 2020
Three cases of severe odontogenic infections due to nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in Venezuela that were directly associated with dental procedures and the finding of dental unit waterlines (DUWLs) in dental offices that were colonized with mycobacteria species was the reason for assessing the water quality of DUWLs in dental offices in two capital cities in South America, namely, Quito and Caracas. The main water supplies and the water from 143 DUWLs in both cities were sampled and especially checked for contamination with NTM. To measure the overall bacteriological quality of the water also the presence of heterotrophic bacteria, coliform bacteria, and Pseudomonas was determined. Results showed that respectively 3% and 56% of the DUWLs in Quito and Caracas yielded NTM species (up to 1000 colony-forming units (CFU)/mL). Furthermore, high and unacceptable total viable counts of heterotrophic bacteria and/or coliform bacteria and Pseudomonas were detected in 73% of the samples. We conclude that, in both cities, the water in the majority of DUWLs was contaminated with NTM and other potential pathogens, presenting a risk to human health. The detection of NTM in DUWL water with acceptable heterotrophic bacteria counts shows the need to include NTM in water quality testing. Mycobacteria are more resistant to disinfection procedures than other types of vegetative bacteria, and most testing protocols for DUWLs do not assess mycobacteria and thus do not guarantee risk-free water. View Full-Text
Keywords: dental unit waterline (DUWL); biofilm; dental infection control; heterotrophic plate count (HPC); coliform bacteria; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) dental unit waterline (DUWL); biofilm; dental infection control; heterotrophic plate count (HPC); coliform bacteria; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Castellano Realpe, O.J.; Gutiérrez, J.C.; Sierra, D.A.; Pazmiño Martínez, L.A.; Prado Palacios, Y.Y.; Echeverría, G.; de Waard, J.H. Dental Unit Waterlines in Quito and Caracas Contaminated with Nontuberculous Mycobacteria: A Potential Health Risk in Dental Practice. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2348. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072348

AMA Style

Castellano Realpe OJ, Gutiérrez JC, Sierra DA, Pazmiño Martínez LA, Prado Palacios YY, Echeverría G, de Waard JH. Dental Unit Waterlines in Quito and Caracas Contaminated with Nontuberculous Mycobacteria: A Potential Health Risk in Dental Practice. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(7):2348. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072348

Chicago/Turabian Style

Castellano Realpe, Orlando J., Johanna C. Gutiérrez, Deisy A. Sierra, Lourdes A. Pazmiño Martínez, Yrneh Y. Prado Palacios, Gustavo Echeverría, and Jacobus H. de Waard. 2020. "Dental Unit Waterlines in Quito and Caracas Contaminated with Nontuberculous Mycobacteria: A Potential Health Risk in Dental Practice" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 7: 2348. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072348

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