The Molecular Typing of Legionella Infection from a Spa

Jui-Hsin Chang, Lei-Ron Tseng, Jei-Kai Tan, Ying-Yan Chen, Jung-Jung Mu, Chuen-Sheue Chiang, Ho-Sheng Wu

2010 Vol.26 NO.19

Correspondence Author: Chuen-Sheue Chiang


Legionella spp. can be found naturally in environmental waters. The transmission mode is breathing in a mist or vapor that has been contaminated with the bacteria. Public recreational water is a possible source of infection. In Taiwan, people getting Legionella infections in whirlpool spas or after shower in public swimming pools were reported lately. In April 2008, a case with positive urinary antigen assay was reported and the isolate from sputum specimen was identified as serogroup 1. Investigation found this patient once stayed in a hotel and went to a whirlpool spa in this hotel. The environmental specimens from water tank were collected. Cultures from the bath yielded at least three different serogroups of Legionella pneumophila. Molecular typing by pulsed field gel electrophoresis identified four isolates from environmental specimens and the clinical isolate from sputum specimen sharing similar DNA fingerprinting. The results showed that the infection of this patient was closely related to the contamination of spa with Legionella spp., and indicated that the transmission of Legionella spp. from recreational water shall be the subject of public health control.