Legionella infection

Keywords: Legionnaires' disease


Appropriate Tests


Legionella infection may occur with Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires’ disease)

Other Legionella sp, especially

  • L. longbeachae
  • L. bozemanii
  • L. micdadei
  • L. dumoffii
  • L. feeleii
  • L. cincinnatiensis

See also Infection (increased susceptibility)


Legionnaire's disease

Legionella pneumophila

If available, nucleic acid probe after PCR amplification is rapid and sensitive for the detection of Legionella pneumophila.

The preferred specimen is bronchial brush, wash; bronchoalveolar lavage, but sputum or pleural fluid may also be tested.

Other tests include Legionella Ag (DFA), MCS sputum (special media); Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 Ag.

For retrospective diagnosis, Legionella Ab.

'Pontiac' fever, especially

  • L. pneumophila
  • L. micdadei
  • L. feeleii
  • L. anisa

An acute, self-limiting influenza-like illness (without pneumonia) of short (1 week) duration.

Often only suspected in epidemics of unexplained fever.

Extrapulmonary infection

Rarely, wound infection, cellulitis, sinusitis, abscesses, pericarditis, endocarditis or pyelonephritis can be caused by Legionella spp, especially in the immunocompromised patient.

Wound swab, MCS pus, using special media.

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