The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital

Environmental Pathogens

Understanding Legionella pneumophila genomic diversity for accurate source attribution

Project Summary

Legionella pneumophila are bacteria that can thrive in artificial warm water sources, spreading to people via contaminated aerosols causing the lethal pulmonary infection, Legionnaires’ disease. To prevent outbreaks caused by this pathogen, health officials need to be able to rapidly identify environmental contamination sources. We are using genomics to explore the population structure of L. pneumophila and attempt to develop multivariate statistical methods to predict the environmental origin of clinical isolates.

Project Partners

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Victoria, Australia


A Supervised Statistical Learning Approach for Accurate Legionella pneumophila Source Attribution during Outbreaks.

Buultjens AH, Chua KYL, Baines SL, Kwong J, Gao W, Cutcher Z, Adcock S, Ballard S, Schultz MB, Tomita T, Subasinghe N, Carter GP, Pidot SJ, Franklin L, Seemann T, Goncalves Da Silva A, Howden BP, Stinear TP. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2017;83(21)