LOREEN A. HERWALDT, M.D.; GEORGE W. GORMAN, B.S.; TERESA McGRATH, M.D.; SANDU TOMA, M.D.; BONNIE BRAKE, M.S.; ALLEN W. HIGHTOWER, M.S.; J. JONES, M.D.; ARTHUR L. REINGOLD, M.D.; PETER A. BOXER, M.D.; PATRICK W. TANG, M.Sc.; C. WAYNE MOSS, Ph.D.; HAZEL WILKINSON, Ph.D.; DON J. BRENNER, Ph.D.; ARNOLD G. STEIGERWALT, B.S.; CLAIRE V. BROOME, M.D.
From 15 to 21 August 1981, Pontiac fever affected 317 automobile assembly plant workers. Results of serologic tests were negative for Mycoplasma, Chlamydia, respiratory tract viruses, and previously described legionellae. A gram-negative, rod-shaped organism (WO-44C) that did not grow on blood agar, required L-cysteine for growth, and contained large amounts of branched-chain fatty acids was isolated from a water-based coolant. The organism did not react with antisera against other legionellae, and on DNA hybridization the organism was less than 10% related to other Legionella species. Geometric mean titers found by indirect fluorescent antibody testing to WO-44C were significantly higher in ill employees than in controls (p = 0.0001). Attack rates by department decreased linearly with the department's distance from the implicated coolant system. The etiologic agent apparently was a new Legionella species; we propose the name Legionella feeleii species nova (AATC 35072). This is the first outbreak of nonpneumonic legionellosis in which the etiologic agent is not L. pneumophila, serogroup 1.
HERWALDT LA, GORMAN GW, McGRATH T, TOMA S, BRAKE B, HIGHTOWER AW, et al. A New Legionella Species, Legionella feeleii Species Nova, Causes Pontiac Fever in an Automobile Plant. Ann Intern Med. 1984;100:333–338. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-100-3-333
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1984;100(3):333-338.
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