Dr. Catherine Whapham, Author at Harper Water

Dr. Catherine Whapham

Fungal Spores in Drinking Water – Aspergillus, Fusarium, Candida, Cryptococcus and others

The College of Environmental Science and Engineering at Tongii University, Shanghai (Zhao et al, 2022) have completed an important review and analysis of published literature on the presence of fungi in drinking water (Aspergillus, Fusarium, Candida, Cryptococcus andothers). The paucity of easy and reliable analysis methods, lack of regulation and limited control strategies has led …

Fungal Spores in Drinking Water – Aspergillus, Fusarium, Candida, Cryptococcus and others Read More »

Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria – a 21st Century Waterborne Pathogen

Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) are microorganisms which can be found everywhere in our environment, not just in water but in soil, vegetation, aerosols and dust particles.  There are over 170 NTM species identified, although not all are clinically relevant, and this number is still increasing.  The widespread introduction of disinfectants within drinking water treatment processes and …

Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria – a 21st Century Waterborne Pathogen Read More »

Catching Killers

New Learning About Legionella With two new Legionella species discovered within the last 12 months it is clear that we continue to learn about this waterborne bacterium.  Two recently published papers, including a multinational study from the innovative and hardworking ESCMID Study Group for Legionella Infections (ESGLI) (Ricci et al., 2022) reveal further important facts. …

Catching Killers Read More »

Protecting High Risk Patients from Waterborne Infection

Patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation (BMT) are profoundly immunosuppressed.  Their susceptibility to even very low concentrations of environmental microorganisms including waterborne bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Legionella spp., non-tuberculous mycobacteria, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia), which would normally offer no threat to healthy or more mildly compromised individuals, becomes critical to manage.  Mucosal surfaces, our semipermeable skin barrier …

Protecting High Risk Patients from Waterborne Infection Read More »

Pseudomonas aeruginosa – Hiding in Plain Sight

The team from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, have recently published on the functionality of Pseudomonas aeruginosa following exposure to chlorine and UV light disinfection (Chiang et al., 2022) Their report highlights the major limitations in using cell culture methodology to assess waterborne bacteria pathogenic activity, to validate and/or …

Pseudomonas aeruginosa – Hiding in Plain Sight Read More »

Risks at The Water’s Edge

Until recently it was a rarity to read about Cupriavidus pauculus – an occasional case study perhaps – it was certainly not a waterborne pathogen at the centre of outbreak investigations like Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa or non-tuberculous Mycobacteria. However, in 2018 the sad events unfolded from the new build Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, …

Risks at The Water’s Edge Read More »

Water System Plastic Pipework – Not That Innocent?

Water system plastic pipes and storage tanks are commonly used in construction due to their ease of installation and low cost, and are typically made from high-density polyethylene and poly-vinyl- chloride. These plastic materials contain plasticisers, such as phthalate esters (PAEs), which help make the products softer and more flexible, but leach during the installed …

Water System Plastic Pipework – Not That Innocent? Read More »

Why do shower hoses pose a potential Legionella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, non-tuberculous mycobacteria and other waterborne opportunistic pathogens’ infection risk for users?

Showering is a well acknowledged infection source for waterborne pathogens such as  Legionella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, non-tuberculous mycobacteria in shower hoses and shower heads (see blog from September 20th, 2021). Shower hoses are mostly made of plastic, which is organic material and consists mainly of carbon. Carbon and organic materials in general provide excellent nutrient sources …

Why do shower hoses pose a potential Legionella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, non-tuberculous mycobacteria and other waterborne opportunistic pathogens’ infection risk for users? Read More »