Main Article Content
In areas at risk (hospitals, nursing homes) but in also in community such as schools, swimming pools, gyms, drinking water plumbing system can harbor also pathogenic microrganisms, potential vehicles of diseases because of structural factors and phenomena of microbial regrowth. In a setting of prevention, for limiting the exposure to pathogens in the environment and for minimizing the risk, at the point of use, specific disposable filter units could be installed. Aims. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness in retaining microrganisms of a medical devices installed at drinking water faucets. Materials and methods. One hundred and eighty samples of water were microbiologically analyzed. Natural heterotrophic microbial flora present in drinking water were analytically determined before and after the passage through the system. Contemporaneously, twenty four suspensions of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli at known concentration were determined for the calculation of the limit of retention calculated taking into examination the worst cases associated with the highest microbial concentrations. Results. The investigation showed that the devices were both efficient at reducing the natural microbial load and at guaranteeing the removal of high concentration of microrganisms (till 5 log). Fifty-seven out of 90 samples analyzed for the heterotrophs did not show any growth after the drainage through the system. In the positive samples, 86% showed a microbial concentration ranging between 1 e 3 CFU/L. Progressive growing concentrations of P. aeruginosa and E. coli proved a high limit of retention: none growth was obtained till the concentrations of 1.3x1012 CFU/mL and 5.0x1013 CFU/mL, respectively. Conclusions. The data show that the filter units installed directly at the point of use can be helpful at guaranteeing reliable retention of microbes. Still, in order to obtain an appropriate operation of the device, in spite of both the ease of use and safety margin, it is necessary to implement an efficient and orderly activity of maintenance according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
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