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Review
, 49 (8), 4797-815

Confirmed and Potential Sources of Legionella Reviewed

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Review

Confirmed and Potential Sources of Legionella Reviewed

Eri van Heijnsbergen et al. Environ Sci Technol.

Abstract

Legionella bacteria are ubiquitous in natural matrices and man-made systems. However, it is not always clear if these reservoirs can act as source of infection resulting in cases of Legionnaires' disease. This review provides an overview of reservoirs of Legionella reported in the literature, other than drinking water distribution systems. Levels of evidence were developed to discriminate between potential and confirmed sources of Legionella. A total of 17 systems and matrices could be classified as confirmed sources of Legionella. Many other man-made systems or natural matrices were not classified as a confirmed source, since either no patients were linked to these reservoirs or the supporting evidence was weak. However, these systems or matrices could play an important role in the transmission of infectious Legionella bacteria; they might not yet be considered in source investigations, resulting in an underestimation of their importance. To optimize source investigations it is important to have knowledge about all the (potential) sources of Legionella. Further research is needed to unravel what the contribution is of each confirmed source, and possibly also potential sources, to the LD disease burden.

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