Legionella pneumophila: risk assessment and strategy for the prevention and control of nosocomial infections

  • Salvo Torrisi | salvohornet@alice.it
  • Eletta Cavedoni
  • Ornella Pastoris
  • Chiara Brema
  • Manuela Verri
  • Andria Innocenza Bongiorno
  • Maurizia Dossena
  • Michela Benazzo
  • Eleonora Sala
  • Luciano Cavedoni


The term “Legionellosis” includes all forms of disease caused by microorganisms of the genus Legionella; it may manifest as a flu-like shape (Pontiac fever), or with severe pneumonia with high mortality (Legionnaires Disease). The causative agent was Legionella pneumophila in the literature although other strains of the genus Legionella are classified as pathogens, mode of transmission is through inhalation of aerosol particles produced by hot water or air conditioning systems: for this reason in community settings and nosocomial L. pneumophila represents a serious public health problem. In the light of epidemiological data since the year 2000 the Italian State has issued a series of provisions laws concerning the prevention and control of nosocomial Legionellosis environment and community.The present work aims to evaluate the presence of Legionella species and L. pneumophila comparing the different approaches proposed by the Guidelines of the regions of Lombardy and Piedmont in terms of assessment and prevention of risk “Legionellosis” in the field of nosocomial infection. The analytical methods used are those provided by the Regional Guidelines: the official method in the second CSR April 4 Method 2000 and UNI EN ISO 11731-1: 2008. Checks have been performed on equipment for the comparison of cold water, hot water and air conditioning in nursing homes, retirement homes and hospitals.The results obtained show that the method CSR April 4, 2000 restricts the search to L. pneumophila permitting, than the method EN ISO 11731-1: 2008, to carry out a risk assessment well targeted to the actual pathogen.The culture method for the detection of L. pneumophila allows you to not only prevention, but also to implement a series of targeted interventions following the directions of the legislation.



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Original Articles
Legionella pneumophila, Legionellosi, Rischio, Prevenzione
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How to Cite
Torrisi, S., Cavedoni, E., Pastoris, O., Brema, C., Verri, M., Bongiorno, A. I., Dossena, M., Benazzo, M., Sala, E., & Cavedoni, L. (2012). Legionella pneumophila: risk assessment and strategy for the prevention and control of nosocomial infections. Microbiologia Medica, 27(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/mm.2012.2315