Rhode Island Hospital finds lack of testing for Legionella
A new study from Rhode Island Hospital shows that guidelines concerning testing patients for possible community-acquired pneumonia due to Legionella may underestimate the number of cases being seen by clinicians. The study found that if testing was only done in patients felt to be at increased risk of Legionnaires' disease based on such guidelines, more than 40 percent of Legionella cases could be missed based on this single-center study. The researchers suggest more widespread testing for Legionella in patients admitted to hospitals with pneumonia. The study is published in BMC Infectious Diseases and is now available online in advance of print.
Legionella is the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease, a dangerous and potentially fatal infectious disease. In the Infectious Diseases Society of American (IDSA) and the American Thoracic Society (ATS) community-acquired pneumonia guidelines, testing for the urine antigen of Legionella is recommended for patients with any of the following: severe pneumonia requiring intensive care unit admission, failure of outpatient antibiotics, active alcohol abuse, history of travel within previous two weeks, or pleural effusion.
Leonard Mermel, DO, medical director of the epidemiology and infection control department at Rhode Island Hospital, is the senior author of this retrospective study that identified nearly 4,000 patients with a primary or secondary diagnosis of pneumonia in an 18-month period. Of those patients, 35 percent had a Legionella urine antigen testing or had a Legionella culture performed. In addition, 44 percent of patients who had a bronchoscopy had a specimen sent for Legionella culture and/or had Legionella urine antigen testing. Of the patients with pneumonia due to Legionella, only 22 percent met the IDSA/ATC criteria recommending Legionella testing.
Mermel says, "This single-center study suggests that current recommendations for Legionella testing will result in missed cases. More widespread testing will identify additional cases allowing focused antimicrobial therapy and will alert public health officials of such Legionella cases."
Co-author Brian Hollenbeck, M.D., adds, "Legionella is a severe cause of community- and hospital-acquired pneumonias. We hope that this study will raise awareness of the need for more comprehensive Legionella testing in patients who are hospitalized with pneumonia."
Recommend this story on Facebook, Twitter,
and Google +1:
- ER physicians don't follow clinical guidelines for diagnosing possible pulmonary emboliSat, 23 May 2009, 12:50:44 EDT
- Rhode Island and Miriam researchers say patient gender may influence nuclear stress test referralsWed, 8 Jun 2011, 17:35:37 EDT
- Not all tests are created equal: Identifying C. diff in hospital labsTue, 5 Jul 2011, 14:32:59 EDT
- Who is at risk for MRSA?Tue, 20 Apr 2010, 11:27:20 EDT
- Rhode Island Hospital study finds link between obesity, type 2 diabetes and neurodegenerationThu, 4 Sep 2008, 11:15:13 EDT
- Lack of testing for Legionella: Current recommendations for testing missed 41 percent of casesfrom Science DailyTue, 27 Sep 2011, 12:31:33 EDT
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Learn more about
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
No popular news yet
- From ocean to land: The fishy origins of our hips
- New method of finding planets scores its first discovery
- Invasive crazy ants are displacing fire ants in areas throughout southeastern US
- Seabird bones reveal changes in open-ocean food chain
- Scientific insurgents say 'Journal Impact Factors' distort science
No popular news yet
No popular news yet
- Stem cell transplant restores memory, learning in mice
- 2 landmark studies report on success of using image-guided brachytherapy to treat cervical cancer
- Researchers discover mushrooms can provide as much vitamin D as supplements
- Cutting back on sleep harms blood vessel function and breathing control
- Study: Low-dose aspirin stymies proliferation of 2 breast cancer lines