Vermamoeba vermiformis resides in water-based heater-cooler units and can enhance Mycobacterium chimaera survival after chlorine exposure.

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Abstract

Background
Mycobacterium chimaera colonizes water-based heater–cooler units (HCUs), from which it can spread to patients during surgery. Vermamoeba vermiformis is a free-living waterborne amoeba, which was consistently present within HCUs.
Aim
To determine whether these amoebae can be involved in the persistent presence of M. chimaera.
Methods
An in-vitro disinfection model.
Findings
Increased survival of M. chimaera was observed after chlorine exposure in the presence of V. vermiformis. Confocal microscopy demonstrated the intracellular presence of M. chimaera in V. vermiformis.
Conclusion
In this way, V. vermiformis can contribute to the persistent presence of M. chimaera in HCUs. Cleaning and disinfection protocols should take this phenomenon into account.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-77
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Volume132
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Wim van Vianen and Diana van Netten for technical assistance.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)

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