A recent study from Rhode Island Hospital found that over 40 percent of community-acquired Legionella cases could be missed by physicians due to current testing guidelines, which recommend testing in patients believed to be at increased risk for contracting Legionnaires’ disease. The study recommends more widespread testing for hospital patients with pneumonia.
Leonard Mermel, DO, Rhode Island Hospital Medical Director of the Epidemiology and Infection Control Department and senior author of this study, said “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.”
“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,” added co-author Brian Hollenbeck, MD.
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