May 2016 Workshop

The first national multidisciplinary workshop on legionellosis in more than 25 years was held at Emory University through support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The workshop coincided with the 40th anniversary of the first reports of a deadly pneumonia among Legionnaires at its annual convention held at the Bellevue Stratford Hotel in late July, 1976 in Philadelphia, PA.  In 1977, Joseph McDade made the discovery that a previously identified bacterium, Legionella pneumophila, had contaminated the water of the cooling towers; inhalation of the aerosolized water was the cause of the outbreak. 

The goal of the 2016 workshop was to increase federal interest and that of professional organizations to increase research and policy efforts to prevent this disease, the leading cause of waterborne disease outbreaks in the US. There has been sparse research on legionellosis the past 25 years. Research is also needed to evaluate efforts by international countries or other jurisdictions that have focused on stricter water system regulations.

There were 80 participants, with seven federal agencies, including EPA, CDC, and NIH, seven local and state health departments, including New York City and New York State, and Genesee County (Flint Michigan) together with experts from 6 countries as well as representation from the European Study Group on Legionella Infections. Experts from industry and academia from the fields of water science, environmental engineering, environmental microbiology, epidemiology, healthcare associated infections, environmental health, and infectious diseases also participated.

Videos of each workshop session are available from the Session Listing page (here), as well as from Emory University's Official Youtube Channel