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      Calidad del agua y Salud: Las biopelículas y Legionella Translated title: Water quality and Health: Biofilms and Legionella


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          En el trabajo se discute la calidad del agua potable y su relación con la Salud Pública. Se presenta el concepto de formación de biopelícula entendido desde la óptica de la contaminación biológica. En especial se atiende a Legionella sp., nichos ecológicos y enfermedad relacionada “legionelosis”. También se desarrolla la evolución de las biopelículas, su influencia en la calidad del agua, tratamiento y control. Por último, se expone la relación entre ciertos microorganismos implicados en las biopelículas acuáticas con el sustrato donde se desarrollan y el método de prevención.

          Translated abstract

          This paper discusses the drinking water quality and its relation to Public Health. It introduces the concept of biofilm formation under stood from the perspective of biological contamination. In particular, attends to Legionella spp., ecological niches and related legionnaires’ disease. It also develops the evolution of biofilms, their influence on water quality, treatment and control. Finally, shows the relationship between certain microorganisms included in aquatic biofilms, the substrate where they develop and method of prevention.

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          Most cited references31

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          Microbiological safety of drinking water.

          Emerging pathogens in drinking water have become increasingly important during the decade. These include newly-recognized pathogens from fecal sources such as Cryptosporidium parvum, Campylobacter spp., and rotavirus, as well as pathogens that are able to grow in water distribution systems, like Legionella spp., mycobacteria, and aeromonads. To perform a risk analysis for the pathogens in drinking water, it is necessary to understand the ecology of these organisms. The ecology of the drinking-water distribution system has to be evaluated in detail, especially the diversity and physiological properties of water bacteria. The interactions between water bacteria and (potential) pathogens in such diverse habitats as free water and biofilms are essential for the survival or growth of hygienically relevant organisms in drinking water. Results of epidemiological studies together with ecological data are the basis for effective resource protection, water treatment, and risk assessment.
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            Legionella: from environmental habitats to disease pathology, detection and control.

            Studies on Legionella show a continuum from environment to human disease. Legionellosis is caused by Legionella species acquired from environmental sources, principally water sources such as cooling towers, where Legionella grows intracellularly in protozoa within biofilms. Aquatic biofilms, which are widespread not only in nature, but also in medical and dental devices, are ecological niches in which Legionella survives and proliferates and the ultimate sources to which outbreaks of legionellosis can be traced. Invasion and intracellular replication of L. pneumophila within protozoa in the environment play a major role in the transmission of Legionnaires' disease. Protozoa provide the habitats for the environmental survival and reproduction of Legionella species. L. pneumophila proliferates intracellularly in various species of protozoa within vacuoles studded with ribosomes, as it also does within macrophages. Growth within protozoa enhances the environmental survival capability and the pathogenicity (virulence) of Legionella. The growth requirements of Legionella, the ability of Legionella to enter a viable non-culturable state, the association of Legionella with protozoa and the occurrence of Legionella within biofilms complicates the detection of Legionella and epidemiological investigations of legionellosis. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods have been developed for the molecular detection of Legionella and used in environmental and epidemiological studies. Various physical and chemical disinfection methods have been developed to eliminate Legionella from environmental sources, but gaining control of Legionella in environmental waters, where they are protected from disinfection by growing within protozoa and biofilms, remains a challenge, and one that must be overcome in order to eliminate sporadic outbreaks of legionellosis.
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              Legionella pneumophila: an aquatic microbe goes astray.

              Legionella pneumophila is naturally found in fresh water were the bacteria parasitize within protozoa. It also survives planctonically in water or biofilms. Upon aerosol formation via man-made water systems, L. pneumophila can enter the human lung and cause a severe form of pneumonia, called Legionnaires' disease. The pathogenesis of Legionnaires' disease is largely due to the ability of L. pneumophila to invade and grow within macrophages. An important characteristic of the intracellular survival strategy is the replication within the host vacuole that does not fuse with endosomes or lysosomes. In recent times a great number of bacterial virulence factors which affect growth of L. pneumophila in both macrophages and protozoa have been identified. The ongoing Legionella genome project and the use of genetically tractable surrogate hosts are expected to significantly contribute to the understanding of bacterium-host interactions and the regulation of virulence traits during the infection cycle. Since person-to-person transmission of legionellosis has never been observed, the measures for disease prevention have concentrated on eliminating the pathogen from water supplies. In this respect detection and analysis of Legionella in complex environmental consortia become increasingly important. With the availability of new molecular tools this area of applied research has gained new momentum.

                Author and article information

                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Journal of the Selva Andina Research Society
                J. Selva Andina Res. Soc.
                Órgano oficial de la:; SELVA ANDINA RESEARCH SOCIETY (La Paz, , Bolivia )
                : 3
                : 2
                : 45-51
                [02] Coroico- Nor Yungas La Paz orgnameUniversidad Católica Boliviana San Pablo-UCB-SP orgdiv1Unidad Académica Campesina Carmen Pampa-UAC-CP Bolivia
                [01] Quito orgnameUniversidad Internacional SEK orgdiv1Investigación e Innovación Ecuador enriquegea@ 123456telefonica.net

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

                : January 2013
                : September 2012
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 21, Pages: 7

                SciELO Bolivia

                Calidad del agua,salud,biopelículas,Legionella,Water quality,health,biofilms


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