Although legionnaires' disease frequently is acquired in health care institutions, little is known about the occupational risk of Legionella infection among health care workers. The aim of the present cross-sectional study was to analyse antibody levels among exposed hospital workers and to determine the correlation between antibodies to Legionella and self-reported symptoms. The study included 258 hospital employees and a reference group of 708 healthy blood donors. Hospital workers had a higher prevalence of Legionella antibody titres (>/=1 : 128) than blood donors (odds ratio 3.4; 95% CI 2.4-4.8). Antibody levels were not higher among staff members at risk of frequent aerosol exposure than among less exposed employees. There was no consistent association between a history of influenza-like symptom complex and the presence of antibodies. The results indicate that hospital workers have a higher risk of Legionella infections than the general population. However, since no excess morbidity was associated with seropositivity, most Legionella infections may be asymptomatic.
Cites: Ann Agric Environ Med. 2004;11(1):9-1215236492
Cites: Stat Med. 2003 Dec 30;22(24):3713-2414673933