Title: Going Beyond Legionella: Detection and Control of Other Waterborne Pathogens
Learn why the CDC and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) now require healthcare facilities to address the risk of these non-Legionella bacterial pathogens and why Legionella prevention approaches are not effective against all waterborne pathogens such as Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Burkholderia, Stenotrophomonas and non-tuberculous mycobacteria.
Janet E. Stout, PhD
Outbreaks among hospitalized patients are caused by waterborne pathogens other than Legionella and occur on a regular basis. These include surgical wound infections, respiratory infections due to brochoscope contamination, dental line contamination, sink drains and ice machines. These outbreaks prompted the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to add other waterborne pathogens to the 2018 memorandum requiring healthcare facilities to have water management programs to control the growth and spread of Legionella. CMS specifically included Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Burkholderia, Stenotrophomonas and non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM).
Water treatment professionals are now expected to advise healthcare facilities about the risk and management of both Legionella and other waterborne pathogens. The level of knowledge and skill necessary to meet this expectation crosses the disciplines of epidemiology, infection control and infectious diseases, plumbing design and construction. Resources are needed to provide the necessary knowledge to meet these challenges.
Furthermore, all waterborne pathogens are not created equal with respect to detection methods, risk and mitigation. Learn why hospital laboratories may not detect these pathogens and why Legionella prevention approaches are not effective against all waterborne pathogens such as Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Burkholderia, Stenotrophomonas and non-tuberculous mycobacteria.
Dr. Janet E. Stout is president and director of Special Pathogens Laboratory, and research associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. An infectious disease microbiologist, Dr. Stout is recognized worldwide for seminal discoveries and pioneering research in Legionella and waterborne pathogens. Dr. Stout’s more than 30 years of research is published in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals. She has also authored textbook chapters on Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease, including the Legionella chapter in the APIC Text. Additionally, she serves on the ASHRAE Legionella standard committee for Legionella Guideline 12 and the SPC 188 committee for ANSI / ASHRAE Standard 188-2015 Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems, ASHRAE Standard 514 and is a board member for the Cooling Technology Institute.