Legionella – Respiratory PCR and Culture
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Legionella PCR +/- Culture
Lower respiratory tract specimens such as BAL, bronchial wash, lung tissues, pleural fluid, sputum, etc. collected during the acute phase of illness.
|1 ml for liquid specimen
Submission and Collection Notes
Timing of Specimen Collection
Specimens should be collected during the acute phase of illness.
The Legionella species PCR has been shown to cross react with Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. No such cross reaction has been found with the L. pneumophila specific target. Results should be interpreted in the clinical context of the patient.
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.
Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C following collection and shipped to PHO laboratory on ice packs.
Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)
The Legionella PCR and culture are performed daily, Monday to Friday.
Turnaround time is up to 4 days from receipt by PHO laboratory for PCR.
Turnaround time is up to 15 days from receipt by PHO laboratory for culture.
Legionella specimens are tested for Legionella pneumophila and Legionella species by PCR. All specimens that test positive by PCR are cultured. Culture positive specimens are identified to the genus, species and serogroup levels.
- Negative Result: Legionella species including Legionella pneumophila NOT DETECTED.
- Positive Result: Legionella pneumophila DETECTED or Legionella species DETECTED, not Legionella pneumophila.
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.