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Felföldi, T., Tarnóczai, T., Homonnay, Z.G. 2010. Presence of potential bacterial pathogens in a municipal drinking water supply system. Acta Microbiologica et Immunologica Hungarica, 57, 165-179.
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The quality of drinking water is a major public concern, but the detection of most potential pathogens is not always included in drinking water hygienic monitoring or is only assessed with highly biased cultivation-based methods. In this study, the occurrence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Legionella spp. was examined with taxon-specific PCRs in samples taken at ten points of a municipal drinking water supply system in three months. Sequence analysis confirmed the positivity of samples and revealed a diverse community of legionellae. The results showed that chlorination was an important and effective disinfection method against pathogenic bacteria in drinking water, but pathogenic bacteria could reoccur in the system farther away from the chlorination point. No strong correlation was found between the presence of the investigated potentially pathogenic bacteria and the measured abiotic and biotic parameters within the investigated range. It is hypothesized that instead of physicochemical parameters, the main factors influencing the presence of pathogens in the drinking water were rather the composition of the microbial community, the biotic interactions between individual non-pathogenic and pathogenic microorganisms (competition or promotion of growth) and the structure of biofilm grown on the inner surface of the supply system.

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