Shocking New Legionella Bacteria Discovered in Italy

new legionella bacteria

Legionella bacteria are responsible for causing a severe form of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease. Recently, scientists have identified a new Legionella bacteria called Legionella bononiensis. This discovery was made after analyzing samples from water systems in the city of Bologna, Italy.

How are new legionella bacteria samples analysed?

There are several methods for analysing water samples for the presence of legionella. The most common method used is culture-based, which involves growing the bacteria on a specified type of nutrient-rich medium under controlled conditions.

This method is considered to be the best standard for detecting the presence of legionella bacteria because it allows for the isolation and identification of bacteria. However, this method can take serval days to obtain results and some strains of legionella may not grow well in culture.

What is the new legionella bacteria L.bononiensis?

The new legionella bacteria L. bononiensis is a gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria that is able to survive in both freshwater and saltwater environments. It is closely related to other known species of Legionella such as L. pneumophila, L. longbeachae, and L. micdadei. However, L. bononiensis is distinct enough that it constitutes a new species within the genus.

Like other Legionella species, the new legionella bacteria L. bononiensis is able to infect human cells and cause severe illness. However, the exact pathogenesis of L. bononiensis is not well understood, and further research is needed to fully understand its virulence factors and the risk it poses to human health.

Scientists are still studying the new legionella bacteria species to understand more about its characteristics, prevalence and pathogenic potential. It is also important to note that L. bononiensis was not found to be responsible for any human illness, it was only identified in environmental samples and in the laboratory, but this shows the ongoing importance of monitoring for and identifying new Legionella species.

In summary, L. bononiensis is a new species of Legionella that has been identified by scientists. The discovery was made in Bologna, Italy, and it has been found to be able to survive in both freshwater and saltwater environments. However, further research is needed to understand the pathogenic potential of this new species and its risk to human health.

How can businesses reduce the risk of exposure to legionella?

There are several steps that businesses can take to reduce the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria including the new legionella bacteria, L.bononiensis:

  1. Water system maintenance: Properly maintaining and disinfecting water systems, including regular testing and monitoring, can help to reduce the growth and spread of Legionella bacteria. This includes maintaining the appropriate temperature and pH levels in the water, and ensuring that the water is free of debris and other contaminants.
  2. Risk assessment: Conducting a risk assessment of the water system can help to identify potential sources of exposure and areas where the risk of exposure is highest. This assessment should be reviewed and updated regularly.
  3. Temperature control: Keeping water at a temperature of 60C or above can help to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria. This can be achieved through the use of heat exchangers, boilers, and other temperature-control equipment.
  4. Showerheads and faucets: Regular cleaning and disinfection of showerheads and faucets can help to reduce the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria. This includes cleaning or replacing the aerators in faucets, and cleaning or replacing showerheads if they are visibly dirty or mouldy.
  5. Training: Training staff on the proper procedures for maintaining and disinfecting water systems, as well as the signs and symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease, can help to reduce the risk of exposure.
  6. Record Keeping: Keeping accurate records of water system maintenance, testing, and disinfection procedures can help to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to reduce the risk of exposure.
  7. Professional help: Consider hiring professional service providers to conduct water system inspections, testing, and maintenance to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to reduce the risk of exposure.

If you need help with your legionella risk management contact us today. Speak to a legionella expert on 01604 930380 or email

For more detail: Legionella bononiensis sp. nov., isolated from a hotel water distribution system in northern Italy | Microbiology Society

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