Evaluation of urinary antigen detection methods for rapid diagnosis of Legionella pneumonia

N. Arakaki, F. Higa, M. Koide, M. Takeyama, T. Shinzato, N. Kusano, E. Yabuuchi, A. Saito

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4 Citations (Scopus)


We have evaluated urine specimens of presumptive cases of legionnaires' disease (110 cases, 173 sample), collected in the past eight years (April, 1990-August, 1998) with the Binax EIA kit which detects the soluble antigen of Legionella pneumophila serogroup (SG) 1, and the Biotest EIA kit which detects Legionella species. Seven cases (19 specimens) were positive for the Binax EIA kit, and nine cases (22 specimens) were positive for the Biotest EIA kit. The sensitivity for culture, PCR, IFA method were 100%, 100%, and 50%, the specificity for these method were 93%, 97.1%, and 90% respectively. Overall agreements for these method were 93.5%, 97.4%, 86.8%, these results suggested that the urinary antigen detection test had high sensitivity and specificity. Our study indicated that concentrated urine samples increase sensitivity. We also evaluated the capabilities of both EIAs to detect soluble antigens were extracted from bacterial suspension of 18 strains of 5 Legionella species by heating. Both assays detected L. pneumophila serogroups 1 to 14, L. bozemanii. The Binax EIA proved to be useful as the Biotest EIA for diagnosis of legionellosis caused by Legionella species and serogroups other than L. pneumophila serogroup 1. Some cases have been shown to excrete antigen for prolonged period of times despite recovery from infection, so that the patient's history should be sought. The urine antigen detection EIA methods proved to be rapid and easy to use, detect antigen in the early stage of the disease with high sensitivity and specificity. Its use for the definition of legionellosis should be considered in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-428
Number of pages8
JournalKansenshogaku zasshi. The Journal of the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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