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J Hosp Infect. 2002 Mar;50(3):220-3.

Legionella contamination of hospital water supplies: monitoring of private healthcare facilities in Bologna, Italy.

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Department of Medicine and Public Health, University of Bologna, Italy.


The hot water supplies of 11 private healthcare facilities in the city of Bologna, Italy, were monitored for the presence of Legionella spp. Four samplings were made in each establishment over a period of one year and in total 121 samples were collected from distribution points situated near the water-boiler and inside the wards (taps and showers). Legionellae were recovered from all the water supplies in question: Legionella spp. in 86.8% of samples, L. pneumophila in 82.6% of samples. L. pneumophila was found in all the water supplies at levels averaging above 10(4)cfu/L in five health facilities and reaching a maximum concentration of 10(7)cfu/L. The only parameter to have affected the presence of legionellae was the water temperature, which was seen to be inversely correlated to the concentration of Legionella spp. Despite the high levels of contamination from L. pneumophila, no cases of nosocomial Legionnaires' disease were reported during the period of the study.

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