Legionella pneumonia: Assessing the latest diagnostic tests

April R. Morrison, Samir K. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations


Because Legionella has a particular propensity for causing severe community-acquired pneumonia, many attempts have been made to devise clinical criteria for the diagnosis. Clinical criteria have proved insufficient; thus, diagnostic laboratory tests are required. Many consider culture to be the gold standard of diagnosis. However, this method has limitations-specimens are difficult to obtain, special media are needed to grow Legionella, and cultures require 3 to 5 days for growth. Urinary antigen enzyme immunoassays are available in commercial kits for rapid (less than 1 hour) diagnosis. Urinary antigen testing should be considered standard for all patients who are ill enough to require hospital admission. For hospitalized patients, azithromycin or a fluoroquinolone is preferred. For patients who do not require hospitalization, acceptable antibiotics include erythromycin, tetracycline, doxycycline, clarithromycin, azithromycin, or a fluoroquinolone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-418
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Respiratory Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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