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March 6, 1987

Legionnaires' Disease Acquired Within the Homes of Two PatientsLink to the Home Water Supply

JAMA. 1987;257(9):1215-1217. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390090087029

Two patients with sporadic community-acquired legionnaires' disease are described. Legionella pneumophila was isolated from sputum specimens, and seroconversion of antibody titers was demonstrated for both patients. Legionella pneumophila was also recovered from the residential water supply of both patients. In each case, the serogroup of the environmental organism matched that of the infecting organism. In one patient, serogroup 3 was isolated—a rare cause of legionnaires' disease, and in the second case, monoclonal antibody testing confirmed that the serogroup 1 organisms isolated from sputum and residential water supply samples were identical. The incubation period of legionnaires' disease is presumed to be up to two weeks. Because of medical problems, both patients had been confined to their homes for the entire two weeks before the onset of symptoms. This is the first report that links acquisition of community-acquired legionnaires' disease to contaminated water supplies within the homes of susceptible patients.

(JAMA 1987;257:1215-1217)