Sensitive and rapid diagnosis of pneumonia caused by Legionella species
The assay is not recommended as a test of cure because bacteria nucleic acids may persist after successful treatment.
This assay does not differentiate between the Legionella species. False-positive results are theoretically possible if patient specimens are contaminated with Legionella DNA, which may occur since Legionella species are environmental organisms present in aquatic environments. The following uncommonly encountered species of Legionella are not detected by this assay: Legionella anisa, L feeleii, L maceachernii, L parisiensis, and L sainthelensi.
A positive PCR result for the presence of a specific sequence found within the Legionella 5S rRNA gene indicates the presence of a Legionella species DNA, which may be due to Legionella infection or environmental/water Legionella DNA in the specimen.
A negative PCR result indicates the absence of detectable Legionella DNA in the specimen, but does not rule-out legionellosis as false-negative results may occur due to inhibition of PCR, sequence variability underlying the primers and probes, or the presence of Legionella species in quantities less than the limit of detection of the assay.