Established and emerging waterborne nosocomial infections

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2003 Aug;16(4):343-7. doi: 10.1097/00001432-200308000-00006.


Purpose of review: To assess the recent advances in the field of waterborne nosocomial infections.

Recent findings: In the last year, many publications have confirmed the importance of well known nosocomial waterborne pathogens such as Legionella spp. or other Gram-negative bacteria, especially non-fermentative bacilli. There have also been numerous reports of outbreaks or pseudo-outbreaks caused by Mycobacteria spp. The most intriguing information relates to the possibility that some fungi causing nosocomial infections may originate from the hospital water distribution system.

Summary: Despite progress in understanding the pathogenesis of nosocomial waterborne infections, outbreaks, pseudo-outbreaks and sporadic infections still occur. Targeted quality control of hospital water, updated procedures for the appropriate use of sterile and non-sterile water, coupled with surveillance constitute the cornerstones of prevention of these infections.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Water Microbiology*
  • Water Supply