Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds environmental tests help predict hospital-acquired Legionnaires' disease risk

23.08.2007
20-hospital study calls for testing hospital water supplies for bacteria associated with Legionnaires'

A new study spearheaded by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has determined that environmental monitoring of institutional water systems can help to predict the risk of hospital-acquired Legionella pneumonia, better known as Legionnaires’ disease.

Reported recently in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the 20-hospital study also calls for reconsideration of the current national infection-control policy to include routine testing of hospital water systems for Legionella, the bacterial group associated with Legionnaires’.

“Only those hospitals that had high levels of Legionella bacteria in their water systems had patients who contracted Legionnaires’ disease,” senior author Victor L. Yu, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said of the study, which involved hospitals in 14 states. “Proactive monitoring of the hospital water supply alerted physicians to the hidden risk of Legionnaires’ disease for their patients.”

Legionella bacteria first were identified as causing pneumonia in 1976 following an outbreak among attendees at an American Legion convention at a Philadelphia hotel, resulting in the name Legionnaires’ disease. With an average fatality rate of 28 percent, Legionnaires’ is estimated to be responsible for up to 20,000 cases a year in the United States, many of them hospital-acquired. Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hospitals and other health care institutions monitor patients for pneumonia incidence before doing environmental surveillance of water systems that can harbor the bacteria.

“Based in part on our work, and in collaboration with the Allegheny County Health Department and the Three Rivers Association for Professionals in Infection Control, the development of proactive guidelines for hospital-acquired Legionnaires’ disease prevention has led to the virtual disappearance of this infection in Pittsburgh,” said study first author Janet Stout, Ph.D., research assistant professor in Pitt’s department of civil and environmental engineering. “We first reported the connection between hospital water supply and these infections in 1982.”

For this investigation, Drs. Yu, Stout and colleagues evaluated samples of hospital system water at 20 facilities across the country from 2000 to 2002. Water samples were retrieved from at least 10 separate sites at each hospital on multiple occasions over the two-year period. When cases of Legionnaires’ were identified, patient urine and sputum samples from 12 of the hospitals were tested to determine classification of Legionella, which has at least 48 strains.

The researchers found that 14 (70 percent) of hospital water systems tested positive for Legionella species, and that six (43 percent) positive hospitals had high-level colonization. Legionnaires’ cases were among the 633 patients with hospital-acquired pneumonia whose urine or sputum samples were tested for Legionella bacteria. All were traced to hospitals with high-level colonization.

“Our study provides much-needed evidence to support a national policy change to include routine environmental surveillance of health care facility water systems along with stringent clinical monitoring of patients,” said Dr. Stout, who estimates that 39,000 people have died of Legionnaires’ since 1982. “We think this long overdue approach should be adopted by infection control and infectious disease practitioners nationwide.”

Michele Baum | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upmc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>