The aim of the work was to develop a PCR-based assay for detection of L. pneumophila and L. micdadei in environmental samples as well as in clinical samples from low respiratory tract and to assess its analytic characteristics. The assay was used during investigation of the outbreak developed in July 2007 in town Verkhnyaya Pyshma (Sverdlovsk region). Polymerase-chain reaction (PCR)with fluorescent detection,sequencing and cloning of DNA fragments were used. Developed assay based on the PCR with fluorescent real-time/ endpointdetection is able to detect L. pneumophila in clinical and environmental samples and to quantify amount of bacterial DNA in water. Specificity of analysis (100%) was assessed using the panel of bacterial strains and samples from healthy individuals. Analytic sensitivity of assay and quantitation limit was 1000 GU in 1 ml. Sensitivity of the assay of artificially contaminated biological samples was 1000 bacteria in 1 ml. During outbreak investigation L. pneumophila DNAwas detected in 4 lung samples from 4 fatal cases, from 1 of 2 sputum samples, 1 of 2 bronchoalveolar lavage samples with X-ray confirmed pneumonia. Legionella's DNA was found in samples from cooling towers, central hot water supply as well as from showerheads in apartments of 3 patients. Fountain and drinking water samples were PCR-negative. Specificity of PCR-positive results was confirmed by sequencing. Use of the assay during outbreak in- vestigation allowed to confirm the diagnosis in fatal cases and quickly identify the possible source of infection.
Zhurnal mikrobiologii, epidemiologii, i immunobiologii 01/2008;