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A team of researchers from the fields of both public health and environmental engineering has released some findings from an 18 month long investigation into the outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in Flint. The Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership conducted random water sampling of Genesee County households in the Fall of 2016. The team found legionella bacteria in 12% of the 200 tested households, which according to the researchers is what is considered to be a normal amount nationwide. The team found 18 different isolates of Legionella pneumophila. The most common serogroup found by the researchers, by far, was legionella pneumophila serogroup 6. The prevalence of serogroup 6, versus serogroup 1,  presents problems for diagnostic testing. This is because serogroup 6 can only be detected through sputum samples, which take longer and are considered to be less accurate than the urine test that is only available for serogroup 1. This, the researchers believe, could result in under-diagnosing and under-reporting of Legionnaires’ Disease cases.

Posted by jzacher">jzacher at 10:55 am

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