Legionella pneumophila was first isolated and characterised in 1976 after a major outbreak of pneumonia in Philadelphia, USA. The causative agent Legionellae, are gram- negative bacteria found in fresh water environments. These organisms are recognised to be a common cause of community acquired and nosocomial pneumonia. Legionellosis classically presents itself as two distinct clinical entities, Legionnaires’ disease, a severe multisystem disease involving pneumonia and Pontiac fever, a self-limiting flu like illness. Approximately 80% of Legionella patients excrete soluble Legionella antigen in their urine. This presents the opportunity for rapid detection of Legionella Urinary Antigen (LUA) in urine specimens. Rapid diagnosis and early initiation of antimicrobial therapy can significantly reduce the mortality associated with Legionella pneumonia. The Uni-Gold Legionella Urinary Antigen PLUS assay is a rapid immunochromatographic test for the detection of soluble Legionella Urinary Antigen in patients with Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 infection.
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