Legionella – Urine antigen

Consistent with O. Reg. 671/92 of the French Language Services Act, laboratory testing information on this page is only available in English because it is scientific or technical in nature and is for use only by qualified health care providers and not by members of the public.

Testing Indications

Contact your local public health unit if you suspect an outbreak in your facility.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Legionella antigen

Urine specimens (>2.0 ml) collected during acute phase of illness

Sterile container

Submission and Collection Notes


Indicate symptoms and date of onset on the General Test Requisition Form.

Timing of Specimen Collection

Specimens collected during acute phase of illness are preferred. Antigen excretion may begin as early as 3 days after onset of symptoms and persist for up to 1 year afterwards.


This test will not detect infections caused by other Legionella pneumophila serogroups and by other Legionella species.

Storage and Transport

Label the specimen container with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Special Instructions

Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C or at -10°C to -20°C  following collection and shipped to PHO laboratory on ice packs.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

The Legionella Binax urine antigen test is set up daily, Monday to Friday.

Turnaround time is up to 2 days from receipt by PHO laboratory.

Test Methods

Legionella specimens are tested by a commercial Binax ICT ( Abbott test kit).

The Binax test is >70% sensitivity and >99% specific. It tests for Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 only (Abbott package insert).


Results are reported as presumptive positive or negative for Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, by Binax ICT Abbott Urine Antigen test.


Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

Specimens that are positive for Legionella are to be reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per Health Protection and Promotion Act.

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Updated 20 July 2020