Skip links and keyboard navigation

Queensland Health responds to QUT water quality research

6 March 2014

Queensland Health has responded to water quality research results recently released by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Dr David Paterson, Consultant to Queensland Health's Communicable Diseases Unit believed more research needed to be done before the state would consider recommending changes to water quality testing guidelines.

"We are comfortable with the current testing levels in Queensland and I do not think at this stage there is any cause for concern."

"There is no need for anyone in Brisbane to boil their water for any purposes.

"Dr Thomson set out to determine if there was a relationship between Non-Tuberculosis Mycobacterium (NTM) in water and human isolates.  

"The research was interesting and important but in my opinion did not establish or prove a direct association between NTM in water and NTM in humans."

Dr Paterson said further work was required on the human acquisition of NTM infection.

"We know the bacteria can cause infection in people but it is very rare. More needs to be known about how people could acquire the infection," he said.

"What is well established is that NTM infections are not contagious."

He said NTM bacteria were distantly related to but very different from the bacteria known to cause tuberculosis.

"Different species of NTM prefer different types of environments however they are particularly common in wet soil, marshland, streams, rivers and estuaries."

Last updated: 11 June 2014