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Proceedings Paper

Tracking Legionella in air generated from a biological treatment plant: a case study of the outbreak of legionellosis in Norway
Author(s): Janet Martha Blatny; Jaran Strand Olsen; Øyvind Andreassen; Viggo Waagen; Bjørn Anders Pettersson Reif
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Paper Abstract

Two outbreaks of legionellosis occurred in the Sarpsborg/Fredrikstad region southeast of Norway in 2005 and 2008 where more than 60 exposed individuals were infected and 10 case patients died. The air scrubber at Borregaard, a wood-based chemical factory, was identified as the outbreak source. High concentration levels of Legionella species, including the etiological agent L. pneumophila SG1 was found in the aeration ponds, which belongs to Borregaard's biological treatment plant. Results showed that these ponds were able to generate Legionella-containing aerosols that were transported by the wind as such aerosols were measured up to 200 meters downwind of the pond. Our studies did not detect L. pneumophila SG1 isolates, only L. pneumophila SG4 during the air sampling measurement campaign. Furthermore, the operational conditions of the air scrubber proved to be harsh for Legionella growth as the outbreak L. pneumophila strains were not able to grow at 45ºC and pH8 (conditions during the outbreaks). These results, together, lead us to suggest that the aeration pond should be regarded as the primary amplifier and disseminator of Legionella and L. pneumophila and thereby most likely being the outbreak source.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 2011
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8018, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XII, 801808 (3 June 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.886932
Show Author Affiliations
Janet Martha Blatny, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (Norway)
Jaran Strand Olsen, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (Norway)
Øyvind Andreassen, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (Norway)
Viggo Waagen, Borregaard (Norway)
Bjørn Anders Pettersson Reif, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (Norway)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8018:
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XII
Augustus W. Fountain; Patrick J. Gardner, Editor(s)

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