Aeromonas Species from Nonchlorinated Distribution Systems and Their Competitive Planktonic Growth in Drinking Water

Nikki van Bel*, Paul van der Wielen, Bart Wullings, Jeroen van Rijn, Ed van der Mark, Henk Ketelaars, Wim Hijnen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aeromonas is included in the Dutch Drinking Water Decree as an indicator for elevated microbial regrowth in nonchlorinated drinking water distribution systems (DWDS). The temporal and spatial diversity of Aeromonas species in 10 DWDS and their planktonic growth characteristics with regard to different carbon sources were investigated. Genotyping of the gyrB gene of isolates showed a nonsystematic temporal and spatial variable prevalence of seven different Aeromonas species in these DWDS and no correlation with the level of assimilable organic carbon determined with Pseudomonas fluorescens strain P17 and Spirillum sp. strain NOX (AOC-P17/NOX concentration) and Aeromonas concentrations. Pure cultures of these seven species showed a high affinity for low concentrations (micrograms per liter) of individual amino acids and fatty acids, compounds associated with biomass. Growth occurred at 0.5mg C/liter of an amino acid mixture. Growth of a mixed community of Aeromonas rivuli, Aeromonas salmonicida, Aeromonas sobria, and Aeromonas veronii in drinking water occurred in pasteurized samples; however, either no growth or decay occurred in competition with the autochthonous bacteria (nonpasteurized samples). This community also failed to grow in nonpasteurized distribution samples from a location with a clear increase in planktonic Aeromonas concentrations in the transported drinking water. For competitive planktonic growth of Aeromonas, an amino acid concentration of $5mg C/liter is required. AOC-P17/NOX concentrations showed that such concentrations are not expected in Dutch drinking water. Therefore, we suspect that competitive planktonic growth is not the major cause of the observed noncompliance with the Aeromonas standard in nonchlorinated DWDS

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02867-20
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number5
Early online date12 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Aeromonas
  • drinking water
  • loose deposits
  • planktonic growth
  • regrowth


Dive into the research topics of 'Aeromonas Species from Nonchlorinated Distribution Systems and Their Competitive Planktonic Growth in Drinking Water'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this