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Chapter 68 : Development of Surveillance of Legionella Infections in Poland by Serological Investigations
Legionellosis is a new infectious disease emerging in Poland although not yet registered. A Polish working group aimed at selecting laboratory methods for investigating human Legionella infections and detecting bacterium in the environment. The specimens from patients were examined for Legionella antigen in urine and for the level of antibodies to Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 in patient sera. The standard commercial BIOTEST was used for the determination of Legionella antigen in urine. The procedure was evaluated according to the European program of the European Working Group for Legionella Infections for quality of testing of Legionella antigen determination in urine. Human serum samples of 180 patients with pneumonia and other pulmonary infectious diseases were collected and examined by microagglutination test. The antibodies to L. pneumophila serogroup 1 titer as high as 2,048 were found in only 2 of 69 sera from patients with atypical pneumonia: in one convalescent patient's serum and in serum of one nosocomial case with symptoms of pneumonia. The urine antigen of Legionella tests determined by the enzyme immunoassay method was also positive in both cases. The risk of L. pneumophila infection still seems to be low for the general population in Poland. It might be higher for some groups, including patients in rehabilitation and transplant units, and for staff in certain institutions such as hospitals.