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Article

Legionella Diversity and Spatiotemporal Variation in the Occurrence of Opportunistic Pathogens within a Large Building Water System

1
Homeland Security and Materials Management Division, Center for Environmental Solutions & Emergency Response (CESER), Office of Research and Development (ORD), US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA
2
Pegasus Technical Services, Inc c/o US EPA, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA
3
Water Infrastructure Division, Center for Environmental Solutions & Emergency Response (CESER), US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(7), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9070567
Received: 8 June 2020 / Revised: 6 July 2020 / Accepted: 7 July 2020 / Published: 13 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Legionella Contamination in Water Environment)
Understanding Legionella survival mechanisms within building water systems (BWSs) is challenging due to varying engineering, operational, and water quality characteristics unique to each system. This study aimed to evaluate Legionella, mycobacteria, and free-living amoebae occurrence within a BWS over 18–28 months at six locations differing in plumbing material and potable water age, quality, and usage. A total of 114 bulk water and 57 biofilm samples were analyzed. Legionella culturability fluctuated seasonally with most culture-positive samples being collected during the winter compared to the spring, summer, and fall months. Positive and negative correlations between Legionella and L. pneumophila occurrence and other physiochemical and microbial water quality parameters varied between location and sample types. Whole genome sequencing of 19 presumptive Legionella isolates, from four locations across three time points, identified nine isolates as L. pneumophila serogroup (sg) 1 sequence-type (ST) 1; three as L. pneumophila sg5 ST1950 and ST2037; six as L. feeleii; and one as Ochrobactrum. Results showed the presence of a diverse Legionella population with consistent and sporadic occurrence at four and two locations, respectively. Viewed collectively with similar studies, this information will enable a better understanding of the engineering, operational, and water quality parameters supporting Legionella growth within BWSs. View Full-Text
Keywords: potable water; first draw; second draw; biofilm; whole genome sequencing; environmental monitoring; premise plumbing systems potable water; first draw; second draw; biofilm; whole genome sequencing; environmental monitoring; premise plumbing systems
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    Description: Figure S1: Images of outlets at each sampling location Figure S2: Scatterplot of turbidity measurements for bulk water samples Figure S3: Scatterplot of free (A) and total (B) chlorine measurements for bulk water samples
MDPI and ACS Style

Buse, H.Y.; Morris, B.J.; Gomez-Alvarez, V.; Szabo, J.G.; Hall, J.S. Legionella Diversity and Spatiotemporal Variation in the Occurrence of Opportunistic Pathogens within a Large Building Water System. Pathogens 2020, 9, 567. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9070567

AMA Style

Buse HY, Morris BJ, Gomez-Alvarez V, Szabo JG, Hall JS. Legionella Diversity and Spatiotemporal Variation in the Occurrence of Opportunistic Pathogens within a Large Building Water System. Pathogens. 2020; 9(7):567. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9070567

Chicago/Turabian Style

Buse, Helen Y., Brian J. Morris, Vicente Gomez-Alvarez, Jeffrey G. Szabo, and John S. Hall. 2020. "Legionella Diversity and Spatiotemporal Variation in the Occurrence of Opportunistic Pathogens within a Large Building Water System" Pathogens 9, no. 7: 567. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9070567

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