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Legionella species

Legionella species is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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MICROBIOLOGY

  • Gram-negative aerobe, cause of legionellosis or Legionnaires’ disease.
  • Common environmental organism, found in warm water sources (e.g., 32°- 45°C temperature range as in warm ponds, air chillers, industrial air conditioning systems, water systems include storage and hot water).
    • Commonly infect free-living amoeoba and other ciliated protozoa as natural hosts for this bacteria.
  • Legionella spp. include >60 species and 70 serotypes.
    • Most are capable of causing human disease.
    • L. pneumophila serogroup 1: most common, accounting for 80-90% of cases of Legionnaires’ disease.
      • The appellation is based on the first recognition of the disease in an epidemic of pneumonia at the American Legion Convention in Philadelphia in 1976.
    • Others: less frequent, occasional causes of legionellosis
      • L. pneumophila serogroups 2-15
      • L. micdadei
        • Sometimes referred to as the "Pittsburgh pneumonia agent"
        • Alternatively, organism has been called Tatlockia micdadei
      • L. dumoffi 
      • L. longbeachae 
      • L. bozemanii
  • Legionella do not grow on most commonly used microbiologic media; buffered charcoal yeast extract (BCYE) agar is preferred.
  • Legionella are poorly visualized with Gram stain. Silver stains such as Warthin-Starry or Dieterle stains are preferred.
    • May weakly stain acid-fast, but loses this characteristic when grown in culture.
  • An intracellular pathogen, effective drugs in animal models include fluoroquinolones, macrolides, TMP/SMX, rifampin and doxycycline.

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Last updated: January 1, 2019

Citation

Auwaerter, Paul G. "Legionella Species." Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, The Johns Hopkins University, 2019. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540308/3.5/Legionella_species.
Auwaerter PG. Legionella species. Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2019. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540308/3.5/Legionella_species. Accessed July 18, 2019.
Auwaerter, P. G. (2019). Legionella species. In Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540308/3.5/Legionella_species
Auwaerter PG. Legionella Species [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2019. [cited 2019 July 18]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540308/3.5/Legionella_species.
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TY - ELEC T1 - Legionella species ID - 540308 A1 - Auwaerter,Paul,M.D. Y1 - 2019/01/01/ BT - Johns Hopkins ABX Guide UR - https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540308/3.5/Legionella_species PB - The Johns Hopkins University DB - Johns Hopkins Guide DP - Unbound Medicine ER -