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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1990 Oct;56(10):2984-8.

Distribution of Legionella longbeachae serogroup 1 and other legionellae in potting soils in Australia.

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Division of Clinical Microbiology, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, South Australia.


Legionella longbeachae serogroup 1 and other Legionella spp. were isolated from 73% of 45 potting soils made in Australia by 13 manufacturers but were not detected in 19 potting soils made in Greece, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom examined between March 1989 and May 1990. Several Legionella species were isolated from a small number of samples of uncomposted pine sawdusts, but it is not known whether sawdust was the source of some of the legionellae found in potting soils. Legionella spp. persisted for periods ranging from 3 to 10 months in a potting soil held at temperatures between -20 and 35 degrees C. Isolates of L. longbeachae serogroup 1 from soil did not grow at 43 degrees C, a temperature which was also lethal for this species in soil. Most Legionella spp. isolated from potting and natural soils belonged to one distinct group according to analysis of ubiquinones and were serologically related to several known species in this group. A small number of potting soils contained L. pneumophila and L. micdadei.

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