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Przegl Epidemiol. 2012;66(2):229-33.

[Legionellosis in Poland in 2010].

[Article in Polish]

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  • 1Zakład Bakteriologii, Zakład Epidemiologii Narodowego Instytutu Zdrowia Publicznego - Państwowego Zakładu Higieny w Warszawie.



The main objective of this article is to assess the epidemiology of legionellosis in Poland in 2010, using national surveillance data. In Poland, legionellosis is a mandatory notifiable disease based on the European Union (probable or confirmed) case definition, however Legionella pnemophila of unknown serogroup specific antybody response meets also laboratory criteria for case confirmation.


The number of legionellosis cases reported has increased over the past years. Between 2004-2008 the median annual number of cases in years 2004-2008 was 21. In 2009, alone, was 10 cases. In 2010 a total 36 legionellosis cases (0.09 per 100,000 inhabitants)--including 9 confirmed cases (6 cases with detected Legionella pneumophila antigen in urine and 3 cases with Legionella spp. specific antybody response) and 27 probable cases--were registered. Among probable cases--21 were reported on the basis of clinical symptoms (e.g. pneumonia) and the presence of an 'epidemiological link' (exposure from the same source), without laboratory confirmation. Sporadic cases (12) represented only one-third of the total number of registered cases. A total of 3 outbreaks were reported, all in the province Slaskie, the largest involved 19 patients. All outbreaks were caused by the presence of Legionella in the public hot water systems. Incidence among men (0.12 per 100 000 population) was slightly higher than the incidence among women (0.07); the highest incidence was observed among people aged 60-69 years. Nearly 78% of cases (28) were people aged over 49 years of age. All patients presented with pneumonia, and all except 1 were hospitalized. No deaths related to the disease were reported. Furthermore, there were no imported cases nor cases associated with travel.


We conclude that there is an urgent need to improve surveillance of Legionellosis in Poland, particularly in terms of laboratory capacity. Introduction of rapid tests for detection of Legionella antigen in urine should increase the number of diagnosed patients who present with symptoms of pneumonia.

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