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Applicability assessment of ceramic microbeads coated with hydroxyapatite-binding silver/titanium dioxide ceramic composite earthplus™ to the eradication of Legionella in rainwater storage tanks for household use

Authors Oana K, Kobayashi M, Yamaki D, Sakurada T, Nagano N, Kawakami Y

Received 25 April 2015

Accepted for publication 20 June 2015

Published 4 August 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 4971—4979

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S87350

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Farooq Shiekh

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster

Kozue Oana,1,2 Michiko Kobayashi,1 Dai Yamaki,3 Tsukasa Sakurada,3 Noriyuki Nagano,1,2 Yoshiyuki Kawakami1,2

1Division of Infection Control and Microbiological Regulation, Department of Health and Medical Sciences, Shinshu University Graduate School of Medicine, 2Division of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences, School of Health Sciences, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, 3Shinshu Ceramics Co., Ltd., Kiso, Nagano, Japan

Abstract: Water environments appear to be the habitats of Legionella species. Legionellosis is considered as a preventable illness because bacterial reservoirs can be controlled and removed. Roof-harvested rainwater has attracted significant attention not only as a groundwater recharge but also as a potential alternative source of nonpotable water. We successfully developed ceramic microbeads coated with hydroxyapatite-binding silver/titanium dioxide ceramic composite earthplus™ using the thermal spraying method. The ceramic microbeads were demonstrated to have bactericidal activities against not only Legionella but also coliform and heterotrophic bacteria. Immersing the ceramic microbeads in household rainwater storage tanks was demonstrated to yield the favorable eradication of Legionella organisms. Not only rapid-acting but also long-lasting bactericidal activities of the ceramic microbead were exhibited against Legionella pneumophila. However, time-dependent attenuation of the bactericidal activities against Legionella were also noted in the sustainability appraisal experiment. Therefore, the problems to be overcome surely remain in constantly managing the Legionella-pollution by means of immersing the ceramic microbeads. The results of our investigation apparently indicate that the earthplus™-coated ceramic microbeads would become the favorable tool for Legionella measures in household rainwater storage tanks, which may become the natural reservoir for Legionella species. Our investigation would justify further research and data collection to obtain more reliable procedures to microbiologically regulate the Legionella in rainwater storage tanks.

Keywords: hydroxyapatite, silver, TiO2, earthplus™, ceramic, Legionella, eradication, rainwater storage tank

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