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Cytopathogenicity and molecular subtyping of Legionella pneumophila environmental isolates from 17 hospitals

  • M. GARCIA-NUÑEZ (a1) (a2), M. L. PEDRO-BOTET (a1) (a2), S. RAGULL (a1), N. SOPENA (a1), J. MORERA (a3), C. REY-JOLY (a1) and M. SABRIA (a1) (a2)...

Summary

The cytopathogenicity of 22 Legionella pneumophila isolates from 17 hospitals was determined by assessing the dose of bacteria necessary to produce 50% cytopathic effect (CPED50) in U937 human-derived macrophages. All isolates were able to infect and grow in macrophage-like cells (range log10 CPED50: 2·67–6·73 c.f.u./ml). Five groups were established and related to the serogroup, the number of PFGE patterns coexisting in the same hospital water distribution system, and the possible reporting of hospital-acquired Legionnaires' disease cases. L. pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates had the highest cytopathogenicity (P=0·003). Moreover, a trend to more cytopathogenic groups (groups 1–3) in hospitals with more than one PFGE pattern of L. pneumophila in the water distribution system (60% vs. 17%) and in hospitals reporting cases of hospital-acquired Legionnaires' disease (36·3% vs. 16·6%) was observed. We conclude that the cytopathogenicty of environmental L. pneumophila should be taken into account in evaluating the risk of a contaminated water reservoir in a hospital and hospital acquisition of Legionnaires' disease.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: M. Garcia-Nuñez, M.Sc., Infectious Diseases Unit, Fundació Institut Investigació en Ciencies de la Salut Germans Trias i Pujol, C/Can Ruti.Camí escoles s/n 08916 Badalona, Barcelona, Spain. (Email: mgarcia.igtp.germanstrias@gencat.net)

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Cytopathogenicity and molecular subtyping of Legionella pneumophila environmental isolates from 17 hospitals

  • M. GARCIA-NUÑEZ (a1) (a2), M. L. PEDRO-BOTET (a1) (a2), S. RAGULL (a1), N. SOPENA (a1), J. MORERA (a3), C. REY-JOLY (a1) and M. SABRIA (a1) (a2)...

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