Environmental surveillance of Legionella spp. colonization in the water system of a large academic hospital: Analysis of the four–year results on the effectiveness of the chlorine dioxide disinfection method

Stefania Bruno, Stefania Boccia, Gianfranco Damiani, Patrizia Laurenti, Sara Vincenti, Chiara De Waure, Adele Anna Teleman, Federica Boninti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The prevention of Legionella colonization of water systems is one of the goals of hospital management. Among chemical disinfection methods, chlorine dioxide (ClO2) has been largely used to control Legionella spp. in water systems. We performed a retrospective study to analyse data deriving from the surveillance plan of the water system in a large academic hospital in Rome (Italy) during the period August 2011 and August 2018. We collected the data deriving from the routine water samples used to monitor Legionella spp. colonization. Data from the water samples collected from 163 selected sampling points (hot water tanks, the return loop and distal outlets) was analysed using a life table analysis in order to investigate the duration of the effectiveness of the ClO2 method in eradicating Legionella spp. The colonization of the water sample by Legionella spp. was considered as the outcome. Our results show that in 81,59% of the sampling points Legionella spp. were never detected at four years of follow up. Chemical and physical characteristics of the water were also compared between the samples which were positive for Legionella spp. and those which were not. No association was found between these factors. The knowledge of the duration over time of the effectiveness of the ClO2 disinfection method could support decision-making processes in the framework of Risk Management activities in hospitals. Future studies could also be conducted in hospitals to compare the long-term cost-effectiveness of different Legionella spp. colonization prevention methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-253
Number of pages6
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume657
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Chlorine dioxide
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Health care water systems
  • Legionella
  • Long-term effectiveness
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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