Clinical features of Legionnaires' disease at three Belgian university hospitals, a retrospective study

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Introduction: Legionnaires' disease (LD) is a recognised cause of community-acquired pneumonia. However, Legionella is an overlooked pathogen in hospital-acquired pneumonia. The European Surveillance System 2008-2017 found 23% of the Belgian LD reported cases being healthcare-related, with a higher death-rate than in community-acquired patients. This study aims to describe patients admitted for community-acquired LD or affected by hospital-acquired LD and investigate discriminants associated with lethality.

Methods: Medical records were retrospectively reviewed at three Belgian University Hospitals, between 1 January 2016 up to 31 January 2019. Hospital-acquired LD was defined as symptom onset at 10 days or more after admission, according to the Centres for Disease Control and prevention. Community-acquired LD was defined as diagnosis at admission or within 10 days after admission.

Results: Fifty patients were included in the study, among them 26% were diagnosed with hospital-acquired LD. The case-fatality rate was 22%, with eight of the eleven deceased patients (73%) being in the hospital-acquired LD group. Medical history of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and higher sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score at diagnosis were more frequently observed in the hospital-acquired LD group. Furthermore, significantly lower SOFA score at diagnosis of LD and higher rates of treatment with levofloxacin or moxifloxacin were observed in survivors.

Conclusion: In the current cohort, LD death-rate was mainly driven by hospital-acquired LD patients. Hospital-acquired LD might especially affect patients with chronic respiratory disease. Respiratory fluoroquinolones treatment and lower SOFA score at diagnosis may be associated with favourable outcomes.

Keywords: Legionnaires’ disease; fluoroquinolones; hospital acquired pneumonia; legionella; sofa score.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalActa Clinica Belgica
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2021

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