A Lancaster University research team examined domestic showers from different regions of the country and identified mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) in three out of thirty different samples.
According to Sarah Knapton’s article on The Telegraph, MAP is responsible for Johne’s disease in animals, especially in cattle, and it is believed to be closely related with Crohn’s Disease in humans, since the majority of CD patients’ were also found to be infected with MAP.
“We recommend that in line with precautions against Legionnaires’ Disease, that showers should be run for a short period before use, particularly those that have not been used for a while,” advised Professor Roger Pickup, from Lancaster University’s Faculty of Health and Medicine.
Referring to the existing recommendations on the use of air conditioners — which are often responsible for the transmission of the Legionnaire Disease — where people are advised to let the air run for a while before they breathe it, researchers recommend that “showers should be run for a short period before use, particularly those that have not been used for a while,” Pickup continued.
Scientists also found the bacteria was present in five of the samples obtained from water spray of the river Taff in Wales, an episode that led them to consider the possibility of CD patients’ in Cardiff have been infected by the inhalation of the river water carried by the wind.
Some previous information suggested that inhaled bacteria may be responsible for CD. Children’s first symptoms of the disease, for example, usually begin with a mild inflammation of the throat and lungs.
However, this was the first time a study revealed the presence of MAP in domestic water supply and consequent human exposure to it, even though there was already previous information on the presence of these bacteria in UK’s rivers.
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory and chronic condition of the intestine, and the people who suffer from it struggle with digestion problems, difficulties in absorbing nutrients, and difficulties in eliminating the waste. Most sufferers are also genetically disposed to the developing Crohn’s.