This bacteria is rod-shaped.
Although the bacteria is characterized as a gram-negative bacteria, it is often difficult to visualize due to poor gram staining.
Legionella requires a special medium for growth called charcoal yeast extract that contains iron and cysteine, which are necessary for growth.
Legionella can be readily visualized with silver stain.
Legionella is known to be water-loving and transmitted via inhalation of mist droplets containing bacteria. Common sources include cooling towers, A/C units, hot-water systems, and fountains.
Smokers over the age of 65 and heavy drinkers are at moderately increased risk of disease.
This organism is commonly detected in the urine using the Legionella Urinary Antigen, which is advantageous with its rapid result time in hours as opposed to the five-day wait for cultures to result.
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