PVC-piping promotes growth of Ralstonia pickettii in dialysis water treatment facilities

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Biofilms forming inside dialysis water treatment systems are one of the main sources of microbiological contamination. Among the bacteria found in biofilms, Ralstonia pickettii is frequently encountered in dialysis water treatment systems and has been shown to develop extreme oligotrophic talents. In Austria, R. pickettii was exclusively detected in high numbers in dialysis water treatment facilities equipped with chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (PVC-C) piping. In this laboratory study it was shown that PVC-C effectively promotes growth of R. pickettii biofilms, while residual organic carbon in purified dialysis water is sufficient for promoting substantial growth of planktic R. pickettii. This provides evidence that PVC-C is an unsuitable material for piping in dialysis water treatment systems.

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