Legionnaires' disease outbreak associated with a cruise liner, August 2003: Epidemiological and microbiological findings

Konrad Beyrer*, S. Lai, J. Dreesman, J. V. Lee, C. Joseph, Timothy Harrison, S. Surman-Lee, C. Lück, B. Brodhun, U. Buchholz, A. Windorfer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Eight cases of Legionnaires' disease were identified among the 215 German passengers after a cruise to the Nordic Sea in August 2003. An unmatched case-control study was conducted to identify risk factors and the source of infection. In total, eight passengers fulfilled the case definition, one of these died. Forty-two passengers served as controls. The attack rate was 4%. The mean age was 60 years for cases and 62 years for controls. Prolonged exposure to the spa pool seemed to be a risk factor of infection (OR 4.85, P=0.09). Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, monoclonal antibody (mAb) subgroup 'Knoxville' was isolated from clinical and environmental samples. DNA sequence-based typing revealed that these isolates were indistinguishable from each other. The investigation showed the importance of an interdisciplinary approach of microbiology and epidemiology as not all sites on the ship that tested positive for L. pneumophila actually posed a relevant risk for the passengers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802-810
Number of pages9
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Volume135
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

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