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J Infect Dis. 1990 Jun;161(6):1257-61.

Role of air sampling in investigation of an outbreak of legionnaires' disease associated with exposure to aerosols from an evaporative condenser.

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Respiratory Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333.


Epidemiologic studies have suggested that legionnaires' disease can be transmitted to susceptible hosts by contaminated aerosolized water from cooling towers and evaporative condensers; however, epidemic strains of Legionella have not been isolated by air sampling at such sites during epidemiologic investigations. An outbreak of legionnaires' disease occurred at a retirement hotel; Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 was isolated from an evaporative condenser and from potable water. A case-control study showed that the only significant exposure risk was in area A. L. pneumophila serogroup 1 was isolated during air sampling near the evaporative condenser exhaust site, the air conditioning intake vent, and an air vent in area A, but not in shower stalls. Monoclonal antibody subtype patterns of L. pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates from patients matched those from the evaporative condenser but not from shower water. Air sampling and monoclonal antibody subtyping results support epidemiologic evidence that the evaporative condenser was the source of this outbreak.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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