Legionnaires’ disease is a severe respiratory disease that is estimated to cause between 8,000 and 18,000 hospitalizations each year, though the exact burden is unknown due to under-utilization of diagnostic testing. Although Legionella pneumophila is the most common species detected in clinical cases (80-90%), other species have also been reported to cause disease. However, little is known about Legionnaires’ disease caused by these non-pneumophila species. We designed a multiplex real-time PCR assay for detection of all Legionella spp. and simultaneous specific identification of four clinically-relevant Legionella species, L. anisa, L. bozemanii, L. longbeachae, and L. micdadei, using 5′-hydrolysis probe real-time PCR. The analytical sensitivity for detection of nucleic acid from each target species was ≤50 fg per reaction. We demonstrated the utility of this assay in spiked human sputum specimens. This assay could serve as a tool for understanding the scope and impact of non-pneumophila Legionella species in human disease.
Cross, K. E., Mercante, J. W., Benitez, A. J., Brown, E. W., Diaz, M. H., & Winchell, J. M. (2016). Simultaneous detection of Legionella species and L. anisa, L. bozemanii, L. longbeachae and L. micdadei using conserved primers and multiple probes in a multiplex real-time PCR assay. Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease, 85(3), 295–301. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2016.03.022