During 2000–2011, passive surveillance for legionellosis in the United States demonstrated a 249% increase in crude incidence, although little was known about the clinical course and method of diagnosis. In 2011, a system of active, population-based surveillance for legionellosis was instituted through CDC’s Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs) program. Overall disease rates were similar in both the passive and active systems, but more complete demographic information and additional clinical and laboratory data were only available from ABCs. ABCs data during 2011–2013 showed that approximately 44% of patients with legionellosis required intensive care, and 9% died. Disease incidence was higher among blacks than whites and was 10 times higher in New York
than California. Laboratory data indicated a reliance on urinary antigen testing, which only detects Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 (Lp1). ABCs data highlight the severity of the disease, the need to better understand racial and regional differences, and the need for better diagnostic testing to detect infections.
Patient Has Pneumonia? Think Legionellosis