Characterization of aerosols containing Legionella generated upon nebulization
Legionella pneumophila is, by far, the species most frequently associated with Legionnaires’ disease (LD). Human infection occurs almost exclusively by aerosol inhalation which places the bacteria in juxtaposition with alveolar macrophages. LD risk management is based on controlling water quality by applying standardized procedures. However, to gain a better understanding of the real risk of exposure, there is a need (i) to investigate under which conditions Legionella may be aerosolized and (ii) to quantify bacterial deposition into the respiratory tract upon nebulization. In this study, we used an original experimental set-up that enables the generation of aerosol particles containing L. pneumophila under various conditions.