Microbial contamination of dental unit waterlines in Istanbul, Turkey

Goksay D., Cotuk A., Zeybek Z.

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, vol.147, pp.265-269, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 147
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10661-007-0118-0
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.265-269
  • Keywords: ADA, Biofilm, Microbial contamination, Dental unit waterlines, Fungi, Legionella, Total aerobic mesophilic heterotrophic bacteria, LEGIONELLA-PNEUMOPHILA, BACTERIAL-CONTAMINATION, SYSTEMS, PREVALENCE, IDENTIFICATION, ANTIBODIES, BIOFILM, STRAINS, GROWTH
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


The water used in dental unit waterlines (DUWLs) acts as a coolant for the high-speed equipments and as an irrigant during dental treatments. There are kind of water tanks. DUWLs provide a favorable environment for microbial biofilm and multiplation primarily due to the high surface in the tubing and the character of fluid dynamics in narrow, smooth-walled waterlines. Biofilms can harbour opportunist pathogens such as Legionella sp., Pseudomonas sp. Several studies have shown that DUWLs have high levels of microbial contamination. Presence of high level of microbial contamination is an important problem for dentists and dental patients who are immunocompromised. We collected water samples from DUWLs of 20 private dental offices. We have determined that only 2 (3.4%) out of 59 dental unit water samples were found to meet the standard (<200 CFU.ml(-1)) for DUWLs water quality by American Dental Association (ADA). Of the 59 water samples examined, 14 (24%) were positive for Pseudomonas sp. and 18 (30.5%) were positive for fungi. The most common 14 bacterial strains and seven fungi were isolated. Of bacterial strains, 57.1% were identified: Majority of the bacterial species isolated from our samples was identified as Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pasteurella haemolytica, Photobacterium damsela, Ochrobacter anthropi, Moraxella sp., Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium expansum. Legionella sp. were not detected in all water samples.