Use of PCR for Diagnosis of Legionella Infection in Hematological Patients

Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2015; 17(1):52-56

Journal article


To assess efficacy of PCR for detection of Legionella in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid obtained from hematological patients with pneumonia and acute respiratory failure.

Materials and Methods.

A total of 79 BAL samples collected from the hospitalized hematological patients with pneumonia and acute respiratory failure (during the 2011–2014) were analyzed using PCR. All BAL samples have been tested for legionellosis by culture immediately after collection, and then stored at –70 °C. Legionella pneumophila DNA was detected using real-time PCR.


Of 79 BAL samples tested, legionellosis have previously been confirmed by culture in 7 cases: 3 patients had L. pneumophila serogroup 1 (ST42, 36, 1489) and 4 patients had serogroup 3 (ST87). Results of PCR assay on these samples coincided with the results of culture method.


PCR may be used for detection of Legionella in BAL fluid and has a high sensitivity. Compared to culture, PCR allows to get results earlier by 3–4 days and thus, to make diagnosis of Legionella pneumonia faster.

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