15 October 2017

[Reminder] International Interest Of Legionellosis

Reference: CIR-2017-SHN0767

To All Public and Private Health Facilities:

The Preventive Services Center at Dubai Health Authority is grateful for the continuous and joint cooperation of all the health care centers in Dubai for the shared goal of prevention, and control communicable disease


With reference to the above subject, and as part of the implementation of surveillance system activities, DHA is increasing the detection rate of Legionellosisin the Emirate of Dubai, to ensure the effective application of preventionmeasures and control of potential sources of infection.

Legionella bacteria cause a number of diseasesvaries in severity from a mild febrile illness to a serious and sometimes fatal form of pneumonia, especially in the elderly, smokers or people with immunodeficiency. The bacteria can also cause epidemics and outbreaks.


Bacteria are found in natural or industrial aquatic environments all over the world such as water systems, cooling systems and sprayers in homes, hotels and ships. The bacteriacan live at temperatures of 20 to 50 degrees Celsius.


Legionellosis is transmitted by inhalation of contaminated aerosols.


There is no direct transmission of infectionfrom one person to another.

Worldwide, water borne Legionella pneumophila is the most common cause of cases including outbreaks


Instructions for Notification and Laboratory Confirmation

1.   Notification:

·      Daily notification for both confirmed and suspected cases ismandatory to Preventive Service Centre in Dubai Health Authority.

2.   Laboratory Investigation:

A.    Eligibility Criteria:

  •       All Patients with high severity CAP (CommunityAcquired Pneumonia) or Atypical Pneumonia on epidemiological or clinical conditions,

  •        Other patients with specific risk factors,

  •       All patients with CAP during outbreaks   

  • B.    Special Considerations:

    ·       Specimen should be collected before antibiotic therapy is commenced;

    ·       Use of saline during collection should be avoided,


    ·       Bronchoscopy specimens should be cultured urgently as soon aspossible as using of saline is unavoidable.

  • C.    Test for Legionella:

    ·       Urine for legionella antigen;

    ·       Sputum or other respiratory sample for legionella culture and direct immunofluorescence (if available),


    ·      Initial and follow up legionella serology.   

  •           For full access on circular # 115 , please press the following link:



Supporting Documents:

Legionellosis تعميم رقم 115.pdf:

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