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Chapter 36 : Distribution of Legionella pneumophila Genotypes in Patients and Environmental Sources
Legionellae are part of the microbial community of aquatic ecosystems, natural as well as man-made, which explains why legionellosis occurs worldwide. In many countries Legionnaires’ disease is a notifiable disease. This chapter presents the preliminary results of the distribution of Legionella genotypes cultured from patients and environmental sources. Between August 2002 and September 2005, sero- and genotyping of 130 patient isolates and 220 environmental isolates showed that 98% of the patient strains were from the Legionella pneumophila genus. The genotypes 004 Lyon and 010 London, responsible for almost one-third of all Legionnaires’ disease patients in the authors' study period in The Netherlands, were not found in the environmental samples collected from the potential sources that resulted from the structured interviews according to the questionnaires. The preliminary results of the study indicate that systematic collection and sampling gives insight to the distribution of the L. pneumophila genus and to serotypes and genotypes in humans and in the environment. Based on the findings, actions in The Netherlands should be more aggressive for the European Working Group for Legionella Infections (EWGLI) genotypes 004 Lyon and 010 London. Legionellae are capable of infecting humans by aerosol inhalation or by drinking and subsequent aspiration of water.