Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2010; 12(4):272-283
Prophylaxis of nosocomial legionellosis is a currently adopted component of the general strategy to fight hospital-acquired infections. In the early 1980s, nosocomial outbreaks of legionnaire disease associated with the high mortality (20 to 40%) occurred in different regions of the world. The reasons of those outbreaks were a Legionella contamination of hospital water supply and aspiration of contaminated water by at-risk patients through the use of faucets and shower-baths. As a result, the new approach to prophylaxis of nosocomial infections which is based on microbiological surveillance for hospital water supply systems and measures to prevent or minimize at-risk patient contacts with contaminated water was developed. In addition to prophylaxis of legionellosis, the approach is very important for preventing hospital-acquired infections caused by other pathogens with potential water route of transmission, primarily Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This article reviews current data on epidemiology, lab diagnosis, and prophylaxis of nosocomial legionellosis.