BAL: Legionella pneumophila  – Shipped November 01, 2021


A simulated bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) sample collected from 45-year-old inpatient with lymphoma and pneumonia was sent to category A laboratories.

Participants were expected to isolate and identify Legionella pneumophila.


  1. Legionella infection takes two basic forms: pneumonia (Legionnaires’ disease) and Pontiac fever (an acute self-limiting flu-like illness with no lower respiratory tract symptoms).
  2. Culture for Legionella species should be considered for patients with moderate to severe community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospital/ICU admission or with a pleural effusion, patients that have failed therapy for pneumonia, patients that have community-acquired pneumonia or nosocomial pneumonia and have a known or possible exposure to Legionella (e.g., during an outbreak), and patients that are immunocompromised with a high risk for Legionella infection and severe disease (e.g., solid organ or haematological transplant patients, AIDS).

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