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Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Rome, Italy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 April 2005

M. C. ROTA
Affiliation:
Centro Nazionale Epidemiologia, Sorveglianza e Promozione della Salute, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
G. PONTRELLI
Affiliation:
Centro Nazionale Epidemiologia, Sorveglianza e Promozione della Salute, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
M. SCATURRO
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Malattie Infettive, Parassitarie e Immunomediate, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
A. BELLA
Affiliation:
Centro Nazionale Epidemiologia, Sorveglianza e Promozione della Salute, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
A. R. BELLOMO
Affiliation:
Medicina Preventiva, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale Roma D, Italy
M. O. TRINITO
Affiliation:
U.O. Epidemiologia e Sistema Informativo, Dipartimento di Prevenzione, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale Roma C, Italy
S. SALMASO
Affiliation:
Centro Nazionale Epidemiologia, Sorveglianza e Promozione della Salute, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
M. L. RICCI
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Malattie Infettive, Parassitarie e Immunomediate, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
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Abstract

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Between August and October 2003, 15 cases of Legionnaires' disease were detected in the 9th district of Rome. To identify possible sources of Legionella exposure, a matched case-control study was conducted and environmental samples were collected. Hospital discharge records were also retrospectively analysed for the period July–November 2003, and results were compared with the same period during the previous 3 years. The case-control study revealed a significantly increased risk of disease among those frequenting a specific department store in the district (OR 9·8, 95% CI 2·1–46·0), and Legionella pneumophila was isolated from the store's cooling tower. Genotypic and phenotypic analysis of human and environmental isolates demonstrated that the cluster was caused by a single strain of L. pneumophila serogroup 1, and that the cooling tower of the store was the source of infection. The increased number of hospital admissions for microbiologically undiagnosed pneumonia during the study period may indicate that some legionellosis cases were not identified.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2005 Cambridge University Press
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