Hospital Water and Opportunities for Infection Prevention

  • Brooke K. Decker
  • Tara N. Palmore
Healthcare Associated Infections (G Bearman and D Morgan, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Healthcare Associated Infections


Nosocomial waterborne pathogens may reach patients through several modes of transmission. Colonization of healthcare facility waterworks can occur in the proximal infrastructure, in the distal water outlets, or both. Infections with waterborne organisms such as Legionella, mycobacteria, Pseudomonas, and others cause significant morbidity and mortality, particularly in immunocompromised patients. Hospitals should have prospective water safety plans that include preventive measures, as prevention is preferable to remediation of contaminated hospital water distribution systems. Whole-genome sequencing may provide more informative epidemiologic data to link patient infections with hospital water isolates.


Nosocomial Waterborne Legionella 



This work was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH Clinical Center.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Tara Palmore and Brooke Decker have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institutes of Health Clinical CenterBethesdaUSA

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