Incidence and distribution of microfungi in a treated municipal water supply system in sub-tropical Australia
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Noel SammonNoel Sammon, Keith Estate Of HarrowerKeith Estate Of Harrower, Larelle FabbroLarelle Fabbro, Robert ReedRobert Reed
Abstract: Drinking water quality is usually determined by its pathogenic bacterial content. However, the potential of water-borne spores as a source of nosocomial fungal infection is increasingly being recognised. This study into the incidence of microfungal contaminants in a typical Australian municipal water supply was carried out over an 18 month period. Microfungal abundance was estimated by the membrane filtration method with filters incubated on malt extract agar at 25 °C for seven days. Colony forming units were recovered from all parts of the system and these were enumerated and identified to genus level. The most commonly recovered genera were Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Fusarium. Nonparametric multivariate statistical analyses of the data using MDS, PCA, BEST and bubble plots were carried out with PRIMER v6 software. Positive and significant correlations were found between filamentous fungi, yeasts and bacteria. This study has demonstrated that numerous microfungal genera, including those that contain species which are opportunistic human pathogens, populate a typical treated municipal water supply in sub-tropical Australia.