Control of opportunistic pathogens in biofilms in hospital plumbing systems
Health care facilities can be susceptible localities for disease outbreaks from opportunistic pathogens, where the problem source is attributed to biofilms persistent in the premise plumbing. The project aims to improve the understanding of biofilm ecology of opportunistic pathogens and to determine water treatment conditions that disfavour their incidence in the biofilms. Opportunistic pathogens such as Legionella cause significant disease with high mortality rates (up to 50%) and high hospital inpatient costs ($434 million/year in the US alone). The outcomes will be significant to develop an innovative treatment regime to control the levels of these pathogens and lessen the risk of Legionella infections from the in premise plumbing systems.