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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Culture, Legionella

Test Code(s): LEGCU / HCLEGCU

CPT Code(s): 87081

Test Description: Link:

Methodology: Culture, ID by Immunofluorescence

Clinical Significance: To confirm a diagnosis of Legionnaire's Disease in the
acute phase of illness.

Testing Site: Testing will be sent to an approved reference laboratory.

Days Performed: Mon-Fri.

Turnaround Time: Routine: 4 - 10 days.

Specimen Requirements

Collection Instructions: Collect pea-sized piece of lung tissue or 5-30 ml of
secretions (pleural fluid, transtracheal aspirate,
sputum, bronchial wash, etc.). Specimens should be held
at 4-8 C and should not be allowed to dry out. Add a
small amount of sterile distilled water to lung tissue if
necessary. Do not use sterile saline for specimen
collection as Legionella sp. are inhibited by saline.
Urine specimens are not acceptable for culture. Refer to
Legionella Urinary Ag (GM4910) if testing on urine is

Collection Container: Preferred: Sterile screw cap container

Specimen Processing: Keep refrigerated until transported to WSLH.

Specimen Transport: Transport specimen to UWHC Core Laboratory (B4/220).
Transport on coolant pack if coming from outreach location.  


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