Progress in the surveillance and control of Legionella infection in France, 1998-2008

Publié le 1 Janvier 2011
Mis à jour le 10 septembre 2019

BACKGROUND: In France, the notification of Legionnaires" disease (LD) has been mandatory since 1987. Following a study showing an important under-reporting of the disease, the surveillance system was strengthened in 1997: the urinary antigen detection test was introduced as a new diagnostic tool and guidelines for prevention and control of the disease were implemented. After these measures, the incidence of LD increased gradually, reaching 2.5 per 100000 in 2005, and then slightly decreased (2.0 per 100000 in 2008). METHODS: Data from the mandatory notification system and from the national reference centre for Legionella were analysed. Analysis covered the 1998-2008 period. RESULTS: During the period 1998-2008 a total of 11147 cases of LD were reported in France through the mandatory system. The majority of cases were diagnosed by urinary antigen test. The median age of cases was 61 years, the male to female ratio was 2.9, and the case fatality rate was 13%. Exposure during travel was documented for 17% of cases. A hospital-acquired infection was suspected for 9% of cases, and this percentage decreased from 21% in 1998 to 7% in 2008. Over this period, 14 community outbreaks were identified involving 380 cases, and cooling towers were the most probable source of infection for 13. No outbreak was reported in 2008. Registration at the regional level of all cooling towers became mandatory at the end of 2004, and the 1997 prevention and control guidelines were updated in 2005. In recent years, several regulations have also been implemented in the hospital setting and care homes for the elderly. (R.A.)

Auteur : Campese C, Bitar D, Jarraud S, Maine C, Forey F, Etienne J, Desenclos JC, Saura C, Che D
International journal of infectious diseases, 2011, n°. 1, p. e30-7