According to the textbooks, both high doses of chlorine and hot water are lethal to legionella bacteria. But now Norwegian scientists are sounding the alarm that the bacteria can survive these treatments, by hiding in amoebae.
Legionella bacteria can cause deadly pneumonia via our shower water. On the basis of her own recent findings, SINTEF scientist Catrine Ahlén warns that we should not blindly assume that the measures recommended to deal with legionella infections in water systems always work.
The number of cases of legionellosis, or Legionnaires' disease, has increased in Europe during the past few years, at the same time as a mystery has been building up; on board ships and in buildings all over the world, the feared bacteria have repeatedly turned up in tap-water, in spite of the recommended high doses of chlorine and hot-water treatments that have been implemented – measures that these bacteria don't normally survive.
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