How do you collect a urine sample for Legionella?

How do you collect a urine sample for Legionella?

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Infection by Legionella bacteria can present as two different types of disease: Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever. The two diseases can be diagnosed by doing similar tests, but are treated differently.

People with Legionnaires’ disease have a severe type of pneumonia (infection of the lungs), which can be confirmed with a chest x-ray. There are usually two tests doctors preferentially use to determine if a patient’s pneumonia was caused by Legionella bacteria:

Legionnaires’ disease requires antibiotic treatment, and most cases can be effectively treated. Healthy people who contract Legionnaires’ disease usually get better, but often need to be treated in the hospital.

Approximately 1 in 10 people who contract Legionnaires’ disease die from complications of the disease.1 Among those who contract it during a stay in a health care facility, approximately 1 in 4 die.2

Legionella pneumophila orina

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Legionella complications

Legionellosis is usually contracted through the respiratory tract by inhalation of aerosols or aspiration of water containing Legionella bacteria (microaspirations, especially in nosocomial forms).

Isolation of strains: This is done from a sputum sample to isolate the microorganism. This technique is rarely used due to the difficulty of obtaining the sputum sample and the long incubation time (up to 10 days for a negative and 4-5 days for a positive).

Serology: Blood samples are tested to see if a patient has Legionella antibodies. The disadvantage is the high response time, up to 1 month. Serological diagnosis is moderately sensitive and specific and can be considered complementary to culture. It does not allow isolation of strains for comparison with environmental samples.

Radioimmunoassay of bacterial antigen in urine: it consists of detecting the Legionella antigen in a urine sample, very easy to obtain and with very fast results (from 15 minutes to a few hours). It is currently the most commonly used in hospitals to diagnose the disease in suspected patients. It has the disadvantage that it does not allow isolation of strains for comparison with environmental samples.

Legionella urinary antigen

When there is cough, generalized aches and pains, shortness of breath, headache, and fever with chills, and in some cases when there is abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and/or mental disturbances that the physician suspects are attributable to Legionella infection.

Legionella is a bacterium that can cause a severe form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease. The Legionella test detects the presence of Legionella bacteria or a part of the bacteria (antigen) and is helpful in diagnosing the cause of pneumonia.

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Legionella infection affects the lower respiratory tract, often requires hospitalization and has a significant mortality rate. In addition to pneumonia, Legionella can also cause Pontiac fever, which is a mild, self-limiting illness with flu-like symptoms. The concept of Legionellosis encompasses both entities, Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever.

Legionella infection or Pontiac fever is confirmed when a person showing typical symptoms of the disease has a positive confirmatory laboratory test (usually a positive culture or urine test).

How do you collect a urine sample for Legionella?
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