Legionnaires' Disease associated with potting soil--California, Oregon, and Washington, May-June 2000

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2000 Sep 1;49(34):777-8.


Since Legionnaires' Disease (LD) was first reported in 1976, outbreaks have been associated with airborne transmission of Legionella bacteria through cooling towers, showers, and other aerosolizing devices (1). However, most LD cases are sporadic, and the source and mode of infection in many cases are unknown. Infections with one species, Legionella longbeachae, have been associated with gardening and use of potting soil in Australia and Japan (2,3). This report summarizes the findings of LD investigations in California, Oregon, and Washington, that suggest that transmission from potting soil has occurred for the first time in the United States, and that active surveillance and case finding are warranted to explore this association.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • California
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Legionella / classification
  • Legionella / isolation & purification*
  • Legionnaires' Disease / etiology*
  • Legionnaires' Disease / microbiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oregon
  • Soil Microbiology*
  • Washington