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J Clin Microbiol. 1993 Oct;31(10):2584-8.

Use of multiple molecular subtyping techniques to investigate a Legionnaires' disease outbreak due to identical strains at two tourist lodges.

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Epidemiology Division, Vermont Department of Health, Burlington 05401.


A multistate outbreak of Legionnaires' disease occurred among nine tour groups of senior citizens returning from stays at one of two lodges in a Vermont resort in October 1987. Interviews and serologic studies of 383 (85%) of the tour members revealed 17 individuals (attack rate, 4.4%) with radiologically documented pneumonia and laboratory evidence of legionellosis. A survey of tour groups staying at four nearby lodges and of Vermont-area medical facilities revealed no additional cases. Environmental investigation of common tour stops revealed no likely aerosol source of Legionella infection outside the lodges. Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 was isolated from water sources at both implicated lodges, and the monoclonal antibody subtype matched those of the isolates from six patients from whom clinical isolates were obtained. The cultures reacted with monoclonal antibodies MAB1, MAB2, 33G2, and 144C2 to yield a 1,2,5,7 or a Benidorm 030E pattern. The strains were also identical by alloenzyme electrophoresis and DNA ribotyping techniques. The epidemiologic and laboratory data suggest that concurrent outbreaks occurred following exposures to the same L. pneumophila serogroup 1 strain at two separate lodges. Multiple molecular subtyping techniques can provide essential information for epidemiologic investigations of Legionnaires' disease.

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