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Infectious Disease Lifestyle

Gardeners Beware

2 years, 9 months ago

1846  0
Posted on Apr 22, 2016, 6 a.m.

What common gardening equipment provides an ideal environment in which Legionella bacteria breed?

Legionnaire’s Disease is a serious and sometimes fatal form of pneumonia, caused by infection with legionella bacteria via inhaled water droplets.  Jacquie Thomas, from The University of New South Wales (Australia), and colleagues analyzed densities of legionlla bacteria in garden hose water, finding that “the densities of Legionella spp. identified in the hoses were similar to those reported during legionellosis outbreaks.”  Thriving in the warm, damp environment of the garden hose, legionella bacteria hide inside free-living amoebae that are able to evade water disinfection techniques.  The study authors warn that: “there is a health risk to susceptible users from the inhalation of garden hose aerosols.”

Thomas JM, Thomas T, Stuetz RM, Ashbolt NJ.  “Your garden hose: a potential health risk due to Legionella spp. growth facilitated by free-living amoebae.”  Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Sep 2;48(17):10456-64.

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