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Legionellosis in Italy

The following background data are abstracted from Gideon and the Gideon e-book series. [1,2]  (Primary references are available on request).

The first case of legionellosis in Italy was reported in 1981 (from Emilia Romagna), and passive surveillance was initiated in 1983.  Reported disease rates in Italy and surrounding countries have increased dramatically since 2000.  The rate of under-reporting for legionellosis in Italy is estimated at 21.4%

As seen in the following graph, parallel rate increases have been reported in the United States and Italy.  Disease rates in the latter are approximated five-fold those reported for the European Region as a whole, and 1.3-time higher than those reported in the United States.

Approximately 63% of cases are reported from Northern Italy (1983 to 1994); and Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 is responsible for 94% of cases.  The male/female ratio for reported cases is 3.45/1;  and 56.6% of the patients are above age 49.

819 presumptive cases and 490 confirmed cases were registered during 1983 to March 1994, including 67 fatal cases during 1983 to 1990.  9,803 cases (11.8% fatal) were reported during 2000 to 2011.

During 1973 to 1987, 117 cases (6 fatal) were reported among tourists to Italian summer resorts.  During 2002 to 2007, the annual incidence of legionellosis among European travelers to Italy ranged from 96 to 143 cases.  Seven cases were reported among tourists in Rome during 1998 to 1999, and 10 cases in 2000.  In 2003, 64 internal (Italian) tourists acquired legionellosis within Italy.

The following screen-shots from Gideon summarize published outbreaks and surveys for legionellosis in Italy.

Italy:  Legionellosis Outbreaks


Italy: Legionellosis Prevalence Surveys


  1. Berger S. Legionellosis: Global Status, 2018. 134 pages , 111 graphs , 1,427 references. Gideon e-books,
  2. Berger S. Infectious Diseases of Italy, 2018. 500 pages , 116 graphs , 3,264 references. Gideon e-books,
  3. Gideon e-Gideon multi-graph tool,

Note featured in ProMED

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