Legionella spp. and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) are opportunistic pathogens of public health concern. Hot water systems, including showers, have been identified as a potential source of infection. This paper describes the colonization of Legionella and MAC on the flexible tubing within a model potable shower system, utilizing thermostatic mixing and a flexible shower head. A MAC qPCR method of enumeration was also developed. MAC and Legionella spp. were detected within the biofilm at maximum concentrations of 7.0 × 104 and 2.0 × 103 copies/cm2 PVC tubing respectively. No significant changes were observed between sample of the flexible shower tubing that dried between uses and those that remained filled with water. This suggested the “unhooking” showerheads and allowing them to dry is not an effective method to reduce the risk of Legionella or MAC colonisation.
- Legionella pneumophila
- Legionella spp.
- Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC)
- Non-tuberculous mycobacterium (NTM)
- Potable water