Legionellosis is a neglected disease due to the absence of well-defined clinical symptoms and difficulties in isolating the causal organism. Legionella spp. is known to colonize the lumen of respiratory therapy equipment(RTE) and evade conventional detection by entering the viable but non-culturable state. Monitoring these surfaces for Legionella pneumophila in addition to routine monitoring of water could aid in decreasing incidences of hospital-acquired infections by this pathogen. In this study swabs of different respiratory therapy equipment were tested for the presence of Legionella by conventional culture-based methods versus molecular detection of culture-independent template by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Genetic diversity of the genes amplified were studied using bioinformatic tools. The dotA genes were genetically diverse indicating no clonality. This communication highlights that the persistence of virulence genes like dotA on abiotic surfaces can result in the mobilization of these genes to other species and give rise to virulent forms especially in a healthcare setting.
Legionellosis, Nosocomial pneumonia, Respiratory therapy equipment, Tertiary care hospitals, Horizontal gene transfer, dot A
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