Science Inventory



Lye, D J. PATHOGENICITY OF BIOFILM BACTERIA. Presented at USEPA's Research on Micoorganisms in Drinking Water Workshop, Cincinnati, OH, August 5-7, 2003.


Use animal studies to validate molecular-based assays concerning the virulence of microorganisms. Identify pathogenic strains of bacterial species known to include opportunistic pathogens and identify currently unknown opportunistic pathogens among the heterotrophic bacteria that occur in drinking water or biofilms.


There is a paucity of information concerning any link between the microorganisms commonly found in biofilms of drinking water systems and their impacts on human health. For bacteria, culture-based techniques detect only a limited number of the total microorganisms associated with biofilms. The possibility of unknown opportunistic pathogens occurring in potable water and biofilms within drinking water systems still exists but it is unlikely that pathogenic microorganisms will be found using individual in vivo culture-based techniques or by screening large numbers of isolates using the currently available in vitro virulence tests. A combination of molecular-based techniques and animal-exposure studies will provide the information necessary to fully characterize the pathogenicity of microorganisms commonly associated with biofilms.

This is an abstract of a proposed presentation and does not necessarily reflect the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policy. The actual presentation has not been peer reviewed by EPA. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 08/05/2003
Record Last Revised: 06/21/2006
Record ID: 63094