Special Bacteriology, Emerging Bacterial Pathogens Division, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, 1015 Arlington Street, Winnipeg R3E 3R2, Canada. email@example.com
Legionella pneumophila (Lp) is a significant cause of nosocomial, community-acquired, and travel-associated pneumonia in industrialized regions. Legionellosis has been a nationally notifiable disease in Canada since 1986, with an average of 75 cases reported annually; however, only the most severe, and often fatal, cases are reported or investigated. Here, epidemiological relationships, types, and distribution of Lp referrals to the Canadian national reference center were studied. Lp strains from different years, sources, and geographic locations were subtyped using a sequence-based typing (SBT) scheme and by the 'Joly' and/or 'Dresden' monoclonal antibody panels. Included were 128 epidemiologically unrelated clinical and 86 unrelated environmental strains. Sixty-four (index of diversity [IOD] = 0.964) and 45 (IOD = 0.888) sequence types (STs) were observed among clinical and environmental sources, respectively. Serogroup (sg) 1 was represented by 60.2% (77/128) and 52.3% (45/86) of clinical and environmental strains, respectively, and 63.6% (49/77) and 15.6% (7/45) of those were mAb2-positive, respectively. Serogroup 1, ST1 accounted for 14.1% (18/128) and 30.2% (26/86) of unrelated clinical and environmental isolates, respectively. This database will serve as a basis for Canadian epidemiological surveillance efforts and is linked to global surveillance initiatives curated by the European Working Group for Legionella Infections (EWGLI) network.