The effect of chlorine, monochloramine and UV disinfection on the water-borne pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei was assessed. Persistence of B. pseudomallei was verified by MPN involving a one-step recovery procedure. Chlorine proved the most effective disinfectant with a 99.99% reduction of a 10(6) CFU/mL pure bacterial culture followed by 99.9% reduction by monochloramine and 99% reduction by UV. Co-culture of B. pseudomallei with Acanthamoeba astronyxis was found to greatly enhance survival of R pseudomallei in the presence of all disinfecting agents tested. For example, when amoebae were present 100 times more monochloramine was required to maintain the disinfectant efficacy. Given the results obtained from these co-culture experiments, more research is needed to investigate the role of amoeba and biofilms in survival of B. pseudomallei in potable water. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.