Legionnaires’ Disease Caused by Legionella pneumophila Serotypes 5 and 10
Earlier this month, China reported a case of Legionnaires’ disease in a 77-year-old man with existing illness that was caused by co-infection of both Legionella pneumophila serotype 5 and serotype 10.
Legionnaires’ disease is a very serious form of pneumonia that has a high fatality rate especially in people with existing immunosuppression. If the disease can be successfully eliminated with the proper antibiotics, there are oftentimes long-term health effects such as extreme fatigue and cognitive impairment.
Legionella bacteria are found in natural and artificially hydrated environments. Legionella pneumophila is responsible for about 80% of human cases of infection. Of the infections caused by Legionella pneumophila, 90% of those infections are caused by Legionella pneumophila serotype 1. Another 20% of cases are from species other than Legionella pneumophila such as Legionella longbeachae and Legionella micdadei.
“Human infections from species and serotypes other than L. pneumophila serotype 1 are rarely reported in the United States,” says Diane Miskowski, MPH at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In the U.S., the most common diagnostic test for determining Legionnaires’ disease is the urinary antigen test. Unfortunately, this test only looks for Legionella pneumophila serotype 1. If the disease is caused by species and/or serotypes that are different than L. pneumophila seotype 1, the urinary antigen test will not detect the disease. CDC recently reported that co-infections are more common than previously thought. Therefore, infections caused by species and serotypes other than L. pneumophila type 1 must be determined by both culture methods and molecular analysis.”
EMSL has six CDC ELITE certified Legionella labs across the U.S. for conducting culture testing and one CDC ELITE lab in Toronto, Canada. In addition, EMSL offers molecular testing using DNA sequencing to determine rare species and Multi Locus Sequence Typing to distinguish between strains of L. pneumophila serotype 1.
For further information, please visit www.LegionellaTesting.com or contact Diane Miskowski at 1-800-220-3675 extension 2528.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
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