Accurately and Quickly Detecting Legionella with the Karius® Test | Karius
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Accurately and Quickly Detecting Legionella with the Karius® Test

Legionella is a species of Gram-negative bacteria which can cause pneumonia (Legionnaires’ disease) or a systemic flu-like illness (Pontiac fever). Immunocompromised individuals are at a higher risk for Legionellosis and there is a need for more sensitive, accurate, and rapid diagnostic tests.

In the United States, an estimated 7,500 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported every year, primarily in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern Central regions. Infections with Legionella are often linked with environmental exposure to water sources, including lakes/streams, reservoirs, hot tubs, and water cooling towers. Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease associated with contaminated water supplies have been reported recently in the news.

There are approximately 60 known species of Legionella, most of which are considered pathogenic. While Legionella pneumophila serotype 1 is implicated in the majority of disease, non-pneumophila infections are also of concern.

 

Current diagnostic tests for Legionella infections:

 

From a single blood sample, the Karius Test can detect over 30 species of Legionella. We have detected numerous cases of Legionella species causing disease in adults, children, and immunocompromised patients. Half of these detections have been non-pneumophila species that are not detected by urine antigen testing and respiratory PCR panels.

The Karius Test has detected L. pneumophila as well as:

  • Legionella anisa
  • Legionella bozemanae
  • Legionella brunensis
  • Legionella cincinnatiensis
  • Legionella maceachernii
  • Legionella micdadei

The breadth and depth of Legionella species detected by the Karius Test can improve diagnostic yield, management and patient outcomes, particularly in immunocompromised patients and outbreak settings. For a full list of detectable pathogens, click here.

 

*More than 85% of specimens received by 8:30 am (PT) Monday through Saturday are reported the next day.

 

References