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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2010 Jul;16(7):945-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2009.03009.x. Epub 2009 Jul 23.

Compost facilities as a reservoir of Legionella pneumophila and other Legionella species.

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Swiss National Reference Center for Legionella, Cantonal Institute of Microbiology, Bellinzona, Switzerland.


Data on the presence of Legionellae outside the aquatic environment are scarce. Alternative ecosystems that could act as a reservoir for Legionella spp. have been investigated to identify unconventional contaminated substrates that are able to produce bioaerosols. We considered eight green waste collection sites including three composting facilities. Legionella pneumophila sg 1-15, Legionella bozemanii, Legionella cincinnatiensis, Legionella jamestowniensis, Legionella micdadei and L. oakridgensis were isolated from samples taken at six of the eight sites. The degree of contamination ranged from 10(3) to 10(8) CFU/g. Compost facilities appear to comprise an important reservoir for Legionellae.

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