Legionella longbeachae, legionnaires’ outbreak source

Legionella longbeachae, legionnaires’ outbreak source

In Europe, Legionella pneumophila is responsible for 95% of Legionnaires’ outbreaks. Among the remaining 5%, the causative agent is Legionella longbeachae.



This bacteria belongs to family Legionellaceae and was first isolated in 1980  in California (USA)  from a patient who had a pneumonia .

Areas where it developed are still unknown. However the source of human infections are soils, and compost derived products such as bark and sawdust.

In New-Zealand, a recent study had been about people hospitalized who had a pneumonia via Legionella longbeachae. We notice that among 31 cases and 172 controls, people were smokers (more than 10 years), with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and were exposed to soils, compost.

Adding to that risks factors, people didn’t washed their hands with soil, or breath near the bag.



Due to that differents risks factors,  mask or glove use was not protective among persons exposed to compost-derived products.


It is important for smokers or people with a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, to be particularly careful to follow these safety precautions when gardening.

Advices :

  • Open the bag away from the face
  • Do not get compost near their face when removing them
  • Close bag when you move
  • To wash hands after using

No study show yet association between exposure to home-made compost and Legionnaires’ disease.


Sumary PUBMED 



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