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Article

Biofilm and Related Amoebas in an UK Chlorinated Drinking Water System

1
Civil and Structural Engineering Department, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK
2
CSIRO Land and Water, 147 Underwood Avenue, Perth, WA 6014, Australia
3
CSIRO Land and Water, Black Mountain Laboratories, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Xuezhi Zhang
Water 2021, 13(21), 3069; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213069
Received: 16 September 2021 / Revised: 20 October 2021 / Accepted: 30 October 2021 / Published: 2 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Ecohydrology)
Drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) can host pathogenic amoebae, but the role of biofilms in supporting the occurrence of these organisms needs to be fully explored in the UK systems. The presence of amoebae and associated bacteria in biofilms attached to inner pipe surfaces was studied in an experimental full-scale chlorinated distribution system in the UK. Quantitative polymerase change reaction (qPCR) was used to identify and quantify amoebae, whilst the bacterial communities in the biofilms were characterised by sequencing the 16S rRNA gene. Despite the maintenance of a chlorine residual in the network (free chlorine ≥ 0.24 mg/L), several species of amoebae belonging to the genera Acanthamoeba, Vermamoeba, and Naegleria were identified in 30-day-old biofilm samples; however, no amoebae were detected in the water samples analysed. The dominant bacterial communities present in the biofilm samples were Variovorax, Pseudomonas, and Aquabacterium. These results indicate that the biofilm samples contained potential pathogenic amoebae and bacteria, such as Acanthamoeba and Pseudomonas, respectively, which implies a potential public health risk if the biofilms are mobilised into the bulk water. Several of the amoebae identified in this study are able to support the presence of resistant bacteria that can remain viable within these prokaryotic organisms until they reach people’s taps. The identification of the microorganisms associated with the pathogenic amoeba species in biofilms could be used to improve the surveillance of DWDS in order to protect public health. View Full-Text
Keywords: amoeba; water; water quality bacteria; biofilm; chlorination; drinking water amoeba; water; water quality bacteria; biofilm; chlorination; drinking water
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MDPI and ACS Style

Del Olmo, G.; Malinowski, N.; Puzon, G.J.; Morgan, M.J.; Calero, C.; Douterelo, I. Biofilm and Related Amoebas in an UK Chlorinated Drinking Water System. Water 2021, 13, 3069. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213069

AMA Style

Del Olmo G, Malinowski N, Puzon GJ, Morgan MJ, Calero C, Douterelo I. Biofilm and Related Amoebas in an UK Chlorinated Drinking Water System. Water. 2021; 13(21):3069. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213069

Chicago/Turabian Style

Del Olmo, Gonzalo, Natalia Malinowski, Geoffrey J. Puzon, Matthew J. Morgan, Carolina Calero, and Isabel Douterelo. 2021. "Biofilm and Related Amoebas in an UK Chlorinated Drinking Water System" Water 13, no. 21: 3069. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213069

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