Sporadic legionellosis in the United States: the first thousand cases

A. C. England, D. W. Fraser, B. D. Plikaytis, T. F. Tsai, G. Storch, C. V. Broome

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129 Scopus citations


As of 30 September 1979, 1005 confirmed cases of sporadic legionellosis caused by Legionella pneumophila serogroups 1 to 4 in U.S. residents had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control; 19% were fatal. All but 2% of the 1005 cases were associated with pneumonia documented by chest radiograph. About 75% of the cases occurred in June through October. The risk of acquiring sporadic legionellosis was increased among males and persons 50 years or older; persons with renal disease necessitating dialysis of transplantation, with chronic bronchitis or emphysema, with diabetes mellitus, and with cancer (10 selected sites or types); persons who smoke; and persons being treated with immunosuppressive drugs. Increasing age and chronic bronchitis or emphysema were associated with increased risk of death. The sensitivity of culturing L. pneumophila from specimens positive by direct immunofluorescence was estimated to be 45%. The distribution of serogroups 1, 2, 3, and 4 of L. pneumophila in 57 fresh, not previously examined direct fluorescent antibody-positive specimens was 84%, 11%, 4%, and 2%, respectively; all 26 strains isolated from these specimens were of one of these 4 serogroups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1981


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