Legionella and community-acquired pneumonia: A review of current diagnostic tests from a clinician's viewpoint

Grant W. Waterer*, Vickie S. Baselski, Richard G. Wunderink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many physicians are unaware of the limitations of the available tests for diagnosing infections with Legionella organisms. Geographic differences in the importance of nonpneumophila Legionella species as pathogens are underrecognized, in part because available diagnostic tests are biased toward the detection of pneumophila serogroup 1. Routine laboratory practices reduce the likelihood of culturing Legionella species from clinical isolates. Failure of seroconversion is common, particularly with nonpneumophila species; even when seroconversion occurs, it may take much longer than 4 weeks. Urinary antigen testing has insufficient sensitivity to affect clinical management in most regions of the United States, as it can reliably detect only L. pneumophila serogroup 1 infections. Polymerase chain reaction-based techniques offer hope of providing highly sensitive, rapid diagnostic tests for all Legionella species, but limitations in the current tests will make validating them difficult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Volume110
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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