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August 13, 1997

The World in Medicine

JAMA. 1997;278(6):460. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550060028013

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First Time in Humans  Twelve years after it was discovered in a Paris cooling tower, Legionella parisiensis has been isolated in a human patient for the first time.Researchers from Hôpital Paul Brousse in Villejuif, France, have reported that the organism was isolated from the tracheal aspirate of a 34-year-old woman who had undergone a liver transplant. The woman developed severe, nosocomially acquired pneumonia about a month after the surgery. She experienced neurologic deterioration and eventually became comatose. But she recovered after several weeks of antibiotic therapy and a second liver transplant.Legionellaceae bacteria include 42 species, 18 of which have been isolated from patients with pneumonia. The most celebrated member of the family is Legionella pneumophila, which causes Legionnaire disease and accounts for about 90% of Legionella infections. The French researchers reported their case in last month's Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

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