Prevention and Treatment

Most efforts at control have focused on designing equipment to minimize the risk of infectious aerosols and on disinfecting procedures once the source of an epidemic has been identified. Environmental surveillance is not practical because of the lack of a simple method for detecting virulent strains. Legionnaires' disease is treated with high doses of erythromycin, sometimes concurrently with rifampin. Like many other pathogens, L. pneumophila produces the enzyme ^-lactamase, which makes it resistant to many penicillins and cephalosporins. ■ b-lactamase, p. 512

The main features of Legionnaires' disease are given in table 23.10.

10 mm

Figure 23.20 Legionella pneumophila Stained with Fluorescent Antibody When present in tissue or sputum, the bacterium fails to stain with most of the usual microbiological stains.

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