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Is driving a car a risk for Legionnaires' disease?

  • R. SAKAMOTO (a1) (a2), A. OHNO (a2), T. NAKAHARA (a1), K. SATOMURA (a1), S. IWANAGA (a1), Y. KOUYAMA (a2), F. KURA (a3), M. NOAMI (a1), K. KUSAKA (a1), T. FUNATO (a4), M. TAKEDA (a4), K. MATSUBAYASHI (a5), K. OKUMIYA (a6), N. KATO (a7) and K. YAMAGUCHI (a2)...

Summary

Legionnaires' disease (LD) is a major cause of severe community-acquired pneumonia but the source and mode of transmission are not always apparent, especially in sporadic cases. We hypothesized that LD can be acquired from the air-conditioning systems of motor cars. Swabs were taken from the evaporator compartments of the air-conditioning system of scrapped cars. Healthy subjects who were mainly employees of regional transportation companies were tested for antibody to Legionella pneumophila serogroups 1–6; they also completed a questionnaire. Legionella species were detected in 11/22 scrapped cars by the loop-mediated isothermal amplification method. The prevalence of microplate agglutination titres ⩾1:32 was significantly higher in subjects who sometimes used car air-conditioning systems. Although we did not prove a direct link between Legionella spp. in the car evaporator and LD, our findings point to a potential risk of car air-conditioning systems in LD, which needs further investigation.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: R. Sakamoto, M.D., Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Yoshidakonoe-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan. (Email: sakamoto@u-kyoto.jp)

References

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Keywords

Is driving a car a risk for Legionnaires' disease?

  • R. SAKAMOTO (a1) (a2), A. OHNO (a2), T. NAKAHARA (a1), K. SATOMURA (a1), S. IWANAGA (a1), Y. KOUYAMA (a2), F. KURA (a3), M. NOAMI (a1), K. KUSAKA (a1), T. FUNATO (a4), M. TAKEDA (a4), K. MATSUBAYASHI (a5), K. OKUMIYA (a6), N. KATO (a7) and K. YAMAGUCHI (a2)...

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