Navigation Links
Study finds environmental tests help predict hospital-acquired Legionnaires' disease risk

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 22 A new study spearheaded by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has determined that environmental monitoring of institutional water systems can help to predict the risk of hospital-acquired Legionella pneumonia, better known as Legionnaires disease. Reported recently in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the 20-hospital study also calls for reconsideration of the current national infection-control policy to include routine testing of hospital water systems for Legionella, the bacterial group associated with Legionnaires.

Only those hospitals that had high levels of Legionella bacteria in their water systems had patients who contracted Legionnaires disease, senior author Victor L. Yu, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said of the study, which involved hospitals in 14 states. Proactive monitoring of the hospital water supply alerted physicians to the hidden risk of Legionnaires disease for their patients.

Legionella bacteria first were identified as causing pneumonia in 1976 following an outbreak among attendees at an American Legion convention at a Philadelphia hotel, resulting in the name Legionnaires disease. With an average fatality rate of 28 percent, Legionnaires is estimated to be responsible for up to 20,000 cases a year in the United States, many of them hospital-acquired. Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hospitals and other health care institutions monitor patients for pneumonia incidence before doing environmental surveillance of water systems that can harbor the bacteria.

Based in part on our work, and in collaboration with the Allegheny County Health Department and the Three Rivers Association for Professionals in Infection Control, the development of proactive guidelines for hospital-acquired Legionnaires disease prevention has led to the virtual disappearance of this infection in Pittsburgh, said study first author Janet Stout, Ph.D., research assistant professor in Pitts department of civil and environmental engineering. We first reported the connection between hospital water supply and these infections in 1982.

For this investigation, Drs. Yu, Stout and colleagues evaluated samples of hospital system water at 20 facilities across the country from 2000 to 2002. Water samples were retrieved from at least 10 separate sites at each hospital on multiple occasions over the two-year period. When cases of Legionnaires were identified, patient urine and sputum samples from 12 of the hospitals were tested to determine classification of Legionella, which has at least 48 strains.

The researchers found that 14 (70 percent) of hospital water systems tested positive for Legionella species, and that six (43 percent) positive hospitals had high-level colonization. Legionnaires cases were among the 633 patients with hospital-acquired pneumonia whose urine or sputum samples were tested for Legionella bacteria. All were traced to hospitals with high-level colonization.

Our study provides much-needed evidence to support a national policy change to include routine environmental surveillance of health care facility water systems along with stringent clinical monitoring of patients, said Dr. Stout, who estimates that 39,000 people have died of Legionnaires since 1982. We think this long overdue approach should be adopted by infection control and infectious disease practitioners nationwide.


Contact: Michele Baum
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Related biology news :

1. Bioartificial kidney under study at MCG
2. Novel Asthma Study Shows Multiple Genetic Input Required; Single-gene Solution Shot Down
3. W.M. Keck Foundation funds study of friendly microbes
4. Yellowstone microbes fueled by hydrogen, according to U. of Colorado study
5. Emory Study Tests Bone Marrow Stem Cells to Improve Circulation in Legs
6. UCLA Study Shows One-Third of Drug Ads in Medical Journals Do Not Contain References Supporting Medical Claims
7. Study Demonstrates Gene Expression Microarrays are Comparable and Reproducible
8. Study Links Ebola Outbreaks To Animal Carcasses
9. Genome-wide mouse study yields link to human leukemia
10. Breakthrough Microarray-based Technology for the Study of Cancer
11. NYU Study Reveals How Brains Immune System Fights Viral Encephalitis
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced the ... and Patent Infringement Risk Analysis" report to their ... Fingerprint sensors using capacitive technology represent a fast ... Idex forecasts an increase of 360% of the number ... the fingerprint sensor market between 2014 and 2017 (source ...
(Date:11/20/2015)... 2015 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... growing mobile commerce market and creator of the Wocket® ... was recently interviewed on The RedChip Money Report ... weekend on Bloomberg Europe , Bloomberg Asia, Bloomberg ... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 19, 2015  Based on ... Frost & Sullivan recognizes BIO-key with the 2015 Global ... Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to ... line catering to the needs of the market it ... product line meets and expands on customer base demands, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... 2015 --> ... companion diagnostics is one of the major ... pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic manufacturers working together ... . --> ... global cancer biomarkers market spread across 89 ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... Accutest Research Laboratories, a leading ... Organization (CRO), has formed a strategic ... - Temple Health for joint work ... (Photo: ) , --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 --> ... in imaging technologies, announced today that it has received a ... the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework Programme for Research and ... trial in breast cancer. , --> ... --> --> The study aims to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Global Biobanking Market 2016 - 2020 report analyzes ... maintaining integrity and quality in long-term samples, minimizing ... long-term cost-effectiveness. Automation minimizes manual errors such as ... technical efficiency. Further, it plays a vital role ...
Breaking Biology Technology: