Methylobacterium spp.: Emerging Opportunistic Premise Plumbing Pathogens
Szwetkowski, Kyle John
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Opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens (OPPPs) are responsible for many infections linked to drinking water. The annual cost of disease caused by these waterborne pathogens is $850 million. Key characteristics of these opportunistic waterborne pathogens include: disinfectant- resistant, biofilm formation, thermal-tolerance, desiccation-resistant, growth in amoebae and growth in low oxygen conditions. Methylobacterium spp. have been recognized as an emerging OPPP, so the purpose of this study was to investigate these waterborne bacteria in more detail to determine whether they have all characteristics of OPPPs. Seven Methylobacterium spp. strains were studied to measure growth in laboratory broth medium and drinking water, measure hydrophobicity on surfaces found in household plumbing, measure adherence and biofilm formation to surfaces found in household plumbing and measure susceptibility to hot water heater temperatures. Methylobacterium spp. were found to aggregate in lab broth medium and drinking water, hydrophobic on different surfaces in household plumbing, adhere readily and form biofilm on different surfaces and thermal-tolerant to water heater temperatures. These results support and identify Methylobacterium spp. as opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens.
- Masters Theses