Robert F. Benson

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There is still a low level of clinical awareness regarding Legionnaires' disease 25 years after it was first detected. The causative agents, legionellae, are freshwater bacteria with a fascinating ecology. These bacteria are intracellular pathogens of freshwater protozoa and utilize a similar mechanism to infect human phagocytic cells. There have been major(More)
Legionella longbeachae causes most cases of legionellosis in Australia and may be underreported worldwide due to the lack of L. longbeachae-specific diagnostic tests. L. longbeachae displays distinctive differences in intracellular trafficking, caspase 1 activation, and infection in mouse models compared to Legionella pneumophila, yet these two species have(More)
New diagnostic tests and empirical therapy for pneumonia may have important ramifications for the identification, treatment, and control of legionnaires disease (LD). To determine trends in the epidemiology of LD, we analyzed data for 1980-1998 from the passive surveillance system of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During this time period,(More)
The bioterrorism-associated human anthrax epidemic in the fall of 2001 highlighted the need for a sensitive, reproducible, and specific laboratory test for the confirmatory diagnosis of human anthrax. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed, optimized, and rapidly qualified an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for immunoglobulin G(More)
Travel-associated outbreaks of legionnaires disease (LD) and combined outbreaks of LD and Pontiac fever (PF) are rarely identified. During one travel-associated combined outbreak at a hotel, a cohort study of potentially exposed persons and an environmental investigation were performed. Two LD and 22 PF cases were identified. Legionella pneumophila(More)
BACKGROUND Legionella species, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Chlamydia pneumoniae are recognized as important causes of pneumonia in high-income countries, but their significance in middle-income countries, such as Thailand, is unknown. METHODS Population-based surveillance identified inpatient 3489 cases of clinically-defined pneumonia in a rural Thai(More)
Seven strains of Legionella-like amoebal pathogens (LLAPs) were characterized on the basis of their cultural and staining characteristics, biochemical reactions, serology, cellular fatty acids (CFAs), isoprenoid quinone composition, total DNA relatedness, analysis of 16S rRNA and macrophage infectivity potentiator (mip) gene sequence analyses. All seven(More)
BACKGROUND During March 2004, a large outbreak of legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever occurred among hotel guests in Oklahoma. An investigation was conducted to identify the source and evaluate the utility of the Legionella urine antigen assay and serologic testing for the identification of Pontiac fever. METHODS A retrospective cohort investigation of(More)
BACKGROUND Recognized outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease (LD) are rare; when they occur, they provide opportunities to understand the epidemiology of the illness and improve prevention strategies. We investigated a population-based outbreak. METHODS After the confirmation of LD in October 1996 in five people in neighbouring towns in southwest Virginia,(More)
In response to the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the United States established national surveillance using a sensitive case definition incorporating clinical, epidemiologic, and laboratory criteria. Of 1,460 unexplained respiratory illnesses reported by state and local health departments to the Centers for Disease Control and(More)