Health

Could Legionnaires' bacteria lurk in idled buildings?

Many businesses are closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and some building managers have shut off water and air conditioning to conserve resources. Unfortunately, warmth and lack of clean water flow can contribute ...

Medical research

Toxin responsible for Legionella growth identified

A team of scientists led by EMBL group leader Sagar Bhogaraju and Ivan Dikic of Goethe University, Frankfurt, discovered that the toxin SidJ in Legionella bacteria enforces a unique modification on human proteins and helps ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Discovery suggests new route to fight infection, disease

New research reveals how a single protein interferes with the immune system when exposed to the bacterium that causes Legionnaires' disease, findings that could have broad implications for development of medicines to fight ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

CDC IDs outbreak trends tied to treated recreational water

(HealthDay)—Outbreaks associated with treated recreational water with confirmed infectious etiology are usually caused by Cryptosporidium, Legionella, or Pseudomonas, according to research published in the May 18 issue ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

DNA testing can rapidly solve Legionnaires' disease outbreaks

A DNA test method called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) allowed New York City health officials to identify the source of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak within hours of specimen collection and should be considered in all ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Research presents new information about the Flint water crisis

Based on a detailed statistical analysis of multiple datasets, the Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership (FACHEP) research team found that the majority of Legionnaires' disease cases that occurred during ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

The summer risk of Legionnaires' disease

Legionnaires' disease is the disease is caused by bacterium called Legionella, which is found most often in fresh water. Symptoms include pneumonia and, in some cases, the infection can be deadly.

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Legionella

Legionella is a pathogenic Gram negative bacterium, including species that cause legionellosis or Legionnaires' disease, most notably L. pneumophila. It may be readily visualized with a silver stain.

Legionella is common in many environments, with at least 50 species and 70 serogroups identified. The side-chains of the cell wall carry the bases responsible for the somatic antigen specificity of these organisms. The chemical composition of these side chains both with respect to components as well as arrangement of the different sugars determines the nature of the somatic or O antigen determinants, which are essential means of serologically classifying many Gram-negative bacteria.

Legionella acquired its name after a July, 1976 outbreak of a then-unknown "mystery disease" sickened 221 persons, causing 34 deaths. The outbreak was first noticed among people attending a convention of the American Legion - an association of U.S. military veterans. The convention in question occurred in Philadelphia during the U.S. Bicentennial year. This epidemic among U.S. war veterans, occurring in the same city as – and within days of the 200th anniversary of – the signing of the Declaration of Independence, was widely publicized and caused great concern in the United States. On January 18, 1977 the causative agent was identified as a previously unknown bacterium, subsequently named Legionella. See Legionnaires' Disease for full details.

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