ESCMID Panorama

Infections by Legionella: Surveillance, Prevention and Control, ESCMID Postgraduate Education Course

2 - 5 April 2014, Erice, Italy

  • ESCMID Study Group for Legionella Infections (ESGLI)
  • Dept. of Diagnostic, Clinical and Public Health Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • G. D’alessandro School of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture, Erice, Italy
  • Italian Society of Hygiene
Course Coordinators
  • Paola Borella, Modena, Italy
  • Giuseppe Giammanco, Catania, Italy
  • Susanne Lee, London, United Kingdom
  • Carmen Pelaz Antolin, Madrid, Spain
  • Søren Anker Uldum, Copenhagen, Denmark
Course Objectives

The widespread environmental contamination and growth of legionellae in water systems and associated equipment, in both public and private buildings, represents a health risk for those exposed. Buildings which pose a significant risk, if adequate controls are not in place, include particularly tourist accommodation, spa and health facilities. The problem can and needs to be faced by appropriate identification of risk and effective preventive and control strategies, as detailed in the recent revision of the European guidelines.

The main objective of the course is to increase the theoretical and practical knowledge and update on how to minimise the contamination and colonisation of water systems by Legionella. Risk assessment of systems and surveillance,
including investigations into potential sources of environmental contamination, before and after the appearance of single cases/clusters will be detailed. Clinical characteristic and diagnostic tests for detection of Legionella pneumonia will be examined. Preventive measures and strategies taking into consideration both the susceptibility of persons and environmental factors will be presented, together with new and traditional disinfection evidence based systems. Practical examples and exercises will be studied by small groups of participants.

Younger participants aiming to reach a skilled expertise for future employment in the sector are warmly invited to participate. The course aims also to expand cross working relationships and increase communication to improve the collaboration between the different professionals working in Legionella management, including clinicians, persons responsible for buildings, public health operators, researchers and persons involved in installation and maintenance of water and air distribution systems.

Course Venue

Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre
for Scientific Culture
Via Guarnotta, 26
91016 Erice (Sicily), Italy

Phone +39 092 386 91 33
Fax +39 092 386 92 26

Target Audience

35–50 researchers, experts, fellows working in Legionella infection surveillance and prevention, epidemiologists, clinicians, environmental and clinical microbiologists, hygiene and public health supervisors, practitioners in risk assessment and infection control, technicians of prevention and disinfection treatment application.

Registration Procedure

Register now online with the link provided on the right. Registration deadline is
28 February 2014.

Registration Fee
  • EUR 650 for ESCMID members
  • EUR 800 for all others

The registration fee includes the course materials, the transfer from and to the airport (Trapani or Palermo), accommodation, breakfasts, lunches and dinners, the farewell dinner and the visit to an archaeological site. Travel costs and beverages are not included.

Attendance Grants

ESCMID provides a number of attendance grants for ESCMID “young scientist members”. The grant covers the registration fee, but not travel costs. Please apply via the link provided on the right before 5 February 2014. Applicants will be informed about their acceptance by 19 February 2014.

CME Accreditation

The organisers of the course will apply for European CME accreditation through EACCME.

Contact Person

Paola Borella
Dept. of Diagnostic, Clinical and
Public Health Medicine
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Via Campi, 287
41125 Modena, Italy

Phone +39 059 205 54 74
Fax +39 059 205 54 83

Administrative Contact Person

Dr Claudia Bellucci
Dept. of Diagnostic, Clinical and
Public Health Medicine
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Via Campi, 287
41125 Modena, Italy

Phone + 39 059 205 54 76

Course Programme

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

14:00 Arrival and registration
17:00 Opening ceremony. Gaetano Maria Fara, Giuseppe Giammanco                               (Directors School of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Erice,                           Italy) and Jeroen Den Boer (Chair of ESGLI)
17:20 Course presentation. Paola Borella (University of Modena and                                   Reggio Emilia, Italy)

Keynote lectures
17:30 The etiological agent: Legionella pneumophila and other Legionella spp.
            Valeria Gaia
18:30 Legionella spp, from environmental source to man: environmental                           habitats and microbial ecology. Jaana Kusnetsov

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Risk factors and disease characteristics
09:00 Epidemiology of Legionnaires’ Disease in Europe. Birgitta de Jong                          (ECDC, Sweden)
09:20 Risk factors for environmental transmission from cooling towers and                       water systems. John Lee
09:40 Risk factors for legionellosis acquisition. Jeroen Den Boer
10:10 Diagnosis, clinical aspects and treatment. Carolina Garcia-Vidal
10:30 Coffee break

The laboratory in Legionella investigation
11:00 Environmental sampling in both routine and outbreak situations.
           Paola Borella
11:20 Isolation of Legionella spp from environmental and biological samples.            Carmen Pelaz
11:40 Comparison of tests for diagnosis of infections. Søren Anker Uldum
12:20 Molecular investigations in clinical diagnosis and epidemiology of                           Legionella spp. Vincenzo Romano-Spica
13:00 Lunch

Exercises (small groups) and discussion on the work done
15:00 Risk factors for environmental contamination by Legionella and the                           identification of persons “at risk”. All teachers involved
16:30 Coffee break
17:00 Sampling, isolation techniques, identification and diagnostic tests.
           All teachers involved

Friday, 4 April 2014

Management and control in community and health environments
09:00 Risk assessment and water safety plans in buildings. Susanne Lee
09:45 Touristic accommodation: European Legionnaires’ Disease Surveillance                Network. Birgitta de Jong (ECDC, Sweden)
10:30 Legionella risks from spa pools, hot tubs, leisure and health centres.                      Susanne Lee
11:00 Coffee break
11:30 Management and control in healthcare facilities. Gaetano Privitera and            Beatrice Casini
12:00 Control and disinfection systems: innovative and conventional                                    procedures. Paola Borella and Maria Anna Coniglio
13:00 Lunch

Exercises (small groups) and discussion on the work done
15:00 Problem solving on nosocomial and community-acquired cases of                           legionellosis. All teachers involved
16:30 Coffee break
17:00 Round Table: open issues on Legionella infections. All teachers involved
19:00 Closing ceremony

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Visit to an archaeological site (on voluntary basis)

Faculty Members
  • Paola Borella, Modena, Italy
  • Beatrice Casini, Pisa, Italy
  • Maria Anna Coniglio, Catania, Italy
  • Birgitta de Jong, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Jeroen Den Boer, Haarlem, The Netherlands
  • Valeria Gaia, Bellinzona, Switzerland
  • Carolina Garcia-Vidal, Barcelona, Spain
  • Jaana Kusnetsov, Kuopio, Finland
  • John Lee, London, United Kingdom
  • Susanne Lee, London, United Kingdom
  • Carmen Pelaz, Madrid, Spain
  • Gaetano Privitera, Pisa, Italy
  • Vincenzo Romano-Spica, Rome, Italy
  • Søren Anker Uldum, Copenhagen, Denmark
Last update: 19 September 2013

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