Legionella infection

Last updated: Friday, 17, December, 2010
PresentationsAppropriate 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 pneuphilia

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

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

Other tests include Legionella spp antigen (DFA), Sputum microscopy and culture (special media); Legionella pneumophila type 1 antigen - urine.

For retrospective diagnosis, Legionella spp antibodies.

'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, pus - microscopy and culture, using special media.