G.S. de Hoog
- Analysis of black fungal biofilms occurring at domestic water taps (II): Potential routes of entry
- Volume | Issue number
- 175 | 5-6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Formation of tenacious and massive black biofilms was occasionally observed at the water-air interphase of water taps and in associated habitats at several locations in Germany. Exophiala lecanii-corni was proven to be the dominant component of these biofilms. Water utility companies were interested to understand by which route fungi building these black biofilms enter their habitat at affected sites in domestic sanitary. A wide variety of fungi is known to be common in wet indoor environments, as well as in the drinking water resources. Two possible routes of entry are therefore considered as follows: (a) distribution by the drinking water system or (b) a retrograde route of colonisation. Previous compositional analysis revealed that the black constituents of biofilms primarily belong to the herpotrichiellaceous black yeast and relatives. Therefore, a systematic search for black fungi in the drinking water system was performed using Sabouraud’s glucose agar medium with chloramphenicol and erythritol-chloramphenicol agar as isolation media. Cadophora malorum was the dominant fungus in the investigated drinking water systems, and samples taken from the house connections (n = 50; 74 %, <200 cfu/L), followed by a so far undescribed Alternaria sp. (28 %; <10 cfu/L) and E. castellanii (26 %; <10 cfu/L). Of note, C. malorum was not present in any previously analysed biofilm. Since E. lecanii-corni was not found in any water sample from the distribution system tested, but represented the most abundant species in dark biofilms previously analysed, a retrograde route of contamination in case of E. lecanii-corni can be assumed.
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