Biologia, Bratislava, 56/Suppl. 9: 27-30, 2001.

ISSN 0006-3088 (Biologia). ISSN 1335-6399 (Biologia. Section Cellular and Molecular Biology).


Full Paper

Risk of legionella infection in hospitalised patients.


Sylvia Bazovska* & Margita Spalekova

Institute of Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Spitalska 24, SK-81272 Bratislava, Slovakia; tel.: ++ 421 7 59357487, fax: ++ 421 7 59357506, e-mail:

* corresponding author

Received: December 28, 2000 / Accepted: April 23, 2001



The purpose of this study was to attempt evaluation of the risk of legionella infection in patients hospitalised in settings with legionella colonised water distribution systems, or in hospitals where such colonisation was not determined by serological investigation of paired sera. During the study no legionella infection was observed either in the group consisting of 60 patients from colonised hospitals, or in the group of 57 patients from hospitals where colonisation was not determined. The antibody titres were generally low in groups of patients from the legionella-colonised hospital as well as from other hospitals, in the groups of older and younger patients. The antibodies varied slightly in some patients, but these responses were probably mostly non-specific. Although no infection was confirmed in these inpatients, the risk of exposure and possibility of infection could not be excluded.  Admittedly, however, we investigated only a limited number of sera. Better judgement of the risk of legionella infection in hospitalised patient will be possible after implementation of specific routine microbiological tests for this infection in hospitals with legionella colonised water distribution systems.


Key words: legionellosis, hospitalised patients.