||Hospital-acquired Legionnaires’ Disease (LD) is a bacterial pneumonia caused by the genus of Legionella. It is an opportunistic pathogen with the characteristic of widespread distribution in the environment. Its source of infection associates with potable water systems. Proactively culturing hospital water supply for Legionella as a strategy for prevention of nosocomial LD has been widely adopted in other countries. Nosocomial LDs has been hardly reported in Taiwan. In addition, environmental cultures of Legionella in potable water systems in hospitals have not been systematically implemented. Thus, the purpose of the research is to confirm if LD presents in the hospital in Taiwan, and developing risk management strategy in hospital-acquired LD. |
To practice one-year prospective surveillance program for LD, we choose a military hospital in Southern Taiwan, collecting the specimens from the nosocomial and community-acquired pneumonia patients for legionella investigations. In the meanwhile, we collect water samples for hospital epidemiological investigation every 3 months. Isolated Legionella pneumophila is serotyped and analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
From Nov 1, 2006 to Oct 30, 2007, within 54 cases of nosocomial and 300 cases of community-acquired pneumonia, only one case of nosocomial LD was found. Environmental investigations detected L. pneumophila in 17(20.7%) of the 84 water samples, of which 82.4% (14/17) belonged to serogroup 1. The result demonstrated the infection source of the only positive case of nosocominal pneumonia is the potable water supply system of another hospital. In conclusion: 1. The infection source of nosocomial LD is the potable water supply system of the hospital. 2. The positive rate of distal outlets for L. pneumophila is a reasonable and reliable indicator in risk management for nosocomial LD. 3. Uncovered cases of nosocomial LD will be found in prospective clinical surveillance for LD. Suggestions: 1. Routine water-quality monitoring should be added in environmental water culture for L. pneumophila in the institution, such as hospital, nursing home, hotel, restaurant, SPA, swimming pool, hot spring, school, army, etc. 2. We advise that government health department carries out national surveillance for hospital water environment in determining the risk of hospital-acquired LD. 3. Education and training program need to be provided for medical staffs in the diagnostic skills of nosocomial LD to avoid misdiagnosing and delaying the treatment.