Monitoring Legionella species in hospital water systems. Link with disease and evaluation of different detection methods
Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine
The aim of this work was to evaluate three currently available isolation methods for Legionella using water samples and swabs of a single pediatric hospital water system. Additionally, high risk patients were screened for the presence of Legionella pneumophila antigen in urine. Fifteen water samples and 11 swab samples were collected from distal sites at 18 sampling locations. The International Standard Method (PN-ISO11731-2) based on membrane filtration and direct culture of bacteria on
... bacteria on selective media were compared with amoebic co-culture. The numbers of legionellae detected exceeded 10(2) cfu/100 ml in 50% of the samples. All the positive samples contained L. pneumophila SGs 2-14. Urine samples were obtained from 57 immunosuppressed children and screened for the presence of L. pneumophila serogroup (SG) 1 antigen by Legionella urinary antigen EIA. Of the 57 urine samples tested for the presence of Legionella pneumophila SG 1 antigen, none were positive. Our results highlight the value of combined membrane filtration and amoebic co-culture methods in detecting viable L. pneumophila strains. Direct plating of 0.2 ml water is a useful screening method for samples containing large bacterial amount.