The Prokaryotes pp 3281-3303 | Cite as

The Genus Legionella

  • A. William Pasculle


Legionnaires’ disease is the commonly accepted name for an acute purulent bacterial pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila. The name resulted from the investigation of an explosive outbreak of pneumonia (189 cases with 29 deaths) among the approximately 3,000 delegates to the annual convention of the Pennsylvania Division of the American Legion in July 1976. Although the exact source of the infection was never determined, epidemiologic investigations demonstrated a strong association between disease acquisition and the amount of time spent in or near the headquarters hotel (Fraser et al., 1977). Initial attempts at isolation of the causative agent were unsuccessful, but subsequent attempts resulted in the isolation of a novel bacterium, L. pneumophila, from lung tissue removed at the autopsies of several of the patients (McDade et al., 1977). The new bacterium was not related to any recognized at that time and was placed into a new family, the Legionellaceae (Brenner et al., 1979).


Water Distribution System Cooling Tower Plumbing System Major Outer Membrane Protein Multilocus Enzyme Electrophoresis 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

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  • A. William Pasculle

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