Legionella.org provides educational resources for anyone who has been affected by Legionnaires' disease. A nonprofit organization, we provide comprehensive answers to those who are living with the disease, clinicians, to water treatment professionals and others. Founded by internationally recognized authorities in Legionnaires' disease, Legionella.org advocates a proactive approach to prevention. Our information is based on more than 30 years of clinical and environmental research. We share our research for the sole purpose of preventing illness and death.
Drs. Victor L. Yu, MD, and Janet E. Stout, PhD, have been advocates for prevention of
hospital-acquired Legionnaires' disease since 1982 while at the Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Their seminal study, Ubiquitousness of Legionella pneumophila in the water supply of a hospital with endemic Legionnaires' disease published in The New England Journal of Medicine linked the disease to exposure to the hospital drinking water system. Dr. Yu led the interdisciplinary team of Infectious disease physicians, Infection preventionists, microbiologist in the Special Pathogens Laboratory and engineers to develop effective measures to diagnose, treat, and control Legionella. The keystone of this effort was culturing the water distribution system for the Legionella bacteria; a practice currently recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for high-risk units and by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) for all acute care facilities.
Legionella.org's core group of dedicated scientists took a proactive approach to controlling this waterborne pathogen to the national level. Working with infection control practitioners and the Allegheny County Health Department, we produced the first guidelines in the U.S. for controlling Legionella in healthcare facilities. The outcome of our proactive approach showed a significant reduction in the number of cases of hospital-acquired Legionnaires' disease in Allegheny County (A proactive approach to prevention of health care-acquired Legionnaires' disease: The Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) experience. Squier 2005 Am. J. Infection Control)
Our work focuses on the prevention of Legionellosis in the health care setting and we have developed methods for identification of Legionella and diagnosis of the disease. Through field and lab studies we have developed several decontamination methods and have contributed to the growth and development of standards and guidelines for monitoring and preventing the growth of Legionella in water systems.