Since the last decade, attention towards the occurrence of fungi in potable water has increased. Commensal and saprophytic microorganisms widely distributed in nature are also responsible for causing public health problems. Fungi can contaminate hospital environments, surviving and proliferating in moist and unsterile conditions. According to Italian regulations, the absence of fungi is not a mandatory parameter to define potable water, as a threshold value for the fungal occurrence has not been defined. This study evaluated the occurrence of fungi in potable water distribution systems in hospitals. The frequency of samples positive for the presence of fungi was 56.9%; among them, filamentous fungi and yeasts were isolated from 94.2% and 9.2% of the samples, respectively. The intensive care unit (87.1%) had the highest frequency of positive samples. Multivariable model (p < 0.0001), the variables of the period of the year (p < 0.0001) and type of department (p = 0.0002) were found to be statistically significant, suggesting a high distribution of filamentous fungi in the potable water of hospitals. Further studies are necessary to validate these results and identify the threshold values of fungi levels for different types of water used for various purposes to ensure the water is safe for consumption and protect public health.

Occurrence of fungi in the potable water of hospitals: A public health threat

Caggiano G.
;
Diella G.;Triggiano F.;Bartolomeo N.;Apollonio F.;Campanale C.;Lopuzzo M.;Montagna M. T.
2020-01-01

Abstract

Since the last decade, attention towards the occurrence of fungi in potable water has increased. Commensal and saprophytic microorganisms widely distributed in nature are also responsible for causing public health problems. Fungi can contaminate hospital environments, surviving and proliferating in moist and unsterile conditions. According to Italian regulations, the absence of fungi is not a mandatory parameter to define potable water, as a threshold value for the fungal occurrence has not been defined. This study evaluated the occurrence of fungi in potable water distribution systems in hospitals. The frequency of samples positive for the presence of fungi was 56.9%; among them, filamentous fungi and yeasts were isolated from 94.2% and 9.2% of the samples, respectively. The intensive care unit (87.1%) had the highest frequency of positive samples. Multivariable model (p < 0.0001), the variables of the period of the year (p < 0.0001) and type of department (p = 0.0002) were found to be statistically significant, suggesting a high distribution of filamentous fungi in the potable water of hospitals. Further studies are necessary to validate these results and identify the threshold values of fungi levels for different types of water used for various purposes to ensure the water is safe for consumption and protect public health.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/312249
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