Survival of the Legionnaires' Disease Bacterium in Water

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Data from this study indicate that the Legionnaires' disease bacterium can survive for a relatively long period of time in water. Four strains survived in distilled water for 69 to 139 d and for 364 to 369 d in tap water. Viable cells from two strains were recovered from tap water at 408 and 415 d. There were no surviving bacteria in cooling-tower water after 24 to 48 h. The rapid die-off was probably due to bactericidal agents added to the water to control growth.

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