Issue: 2018 > August > case report

Legionella longbeachae; don’t miss it!

L. de Bruin, C.P. Timmerman, P.M. Huisman, J. Heidt
AbstractFull textPDF


We here report on two immunocompetent patients admitted to our hospital within 3 weeks’ time, both suffering from pneumonia caused by Legionella longbeachae (L. longbeachae). The pathogen was identified in broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) liquid by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), whereas sputum cultures remained negative. This organism is worldwide still relatively unknown and consequently underdiagnosed. However, with an increasing number of confirmed infections in Europe and more specifically in the Netherlands, early awareness and diagnostic measurements are indicated. As routine laboratory techniques like the urine antigen test do not detect L. longbeachae, we advocate early use of specific tests for non-pneumophila Legionella species such as PCR. Furthermore, we advocate the start of empirical antibiotic therapy (i.e. ciprofloxacin) and continuation in suspected cases.