Legionella Pneumophila & Legionellosis
Legionella is the genus of bacteria, which gives rise to the risk of infection from diseases, collectively known as legionellosis.
These consist of both pneumonias and non-pneumonic varieties.
The species Legionella pneumophila presents the most serious hazard, which is mainly, but not solely, responsible for causing Legionnaires' disease.
This is a pneumonia which has serious effects and is fatal in 10-12% of cases.
Natural and Artificial Water Systems
Legionella is widespread in both natural water sources and artificial water systems.
It proliferates where temperatures are favourable (20-45 oC), nutrients available and water is stagnant or recirculates.
Infection can then occur by the inhalation of aerosols or particles generated from the source.
Parts of this document © Crown Copyright - originally produced and published by the UK's Health & Safety Executive.
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