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Morphology Gram negative aerobic bacterium of the Legionellaceae family.
Disease Legionnaires' disease, a severe form of pneumonia. The symptoms of Legionnaire's disease include confusion, headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, chills, and myalgia as well as a non-productive cough
Zoonosis None
Health Hazards
Host Range Humans and animals
Modes of Transmission  Can be transmitted through aerosols and aspiration of contaminated water.
Signs and Symptoms  Can cause a severe form of pneumonia. Symptoms include confusion, headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, chills, and myalgia as well as a non-productive cough.
Infectious Dose unknown
Incubation Period  unknown
Medical Precautions/Treatment
Prophylaxis None available
Vaccines None available
Treatment Respiratory fluoroquinolones and the newer macrolides are used
Surveillance Monitor for symptoms. Diagnosis can be confirmed via identification of L. pneumophila, often isolated from respiratory secretions, by culturing, immunofluorescent staining, urine antigen tests, PCR, or serologic tests
MSU Requirements  Report any exposures
Laboratory Hazards
Laboratory Acquired Infections (LAIs) 1 case.
 Sources Expectorated sputum, lower respiratory specimens, pleural fluid, and blood. Other sources include water samples from water systems and fresh water sources. Cultures, frozen stocks, other samples described in IBC protocol.
Supplemental References
Canadian MSDS
NIh Guidelines
Risk Group & Containment Requirements
Risk Group 2

Agents that are associated with human disease which is rarely serious and for which preventive or therapeutic interventions are often available.

For all procedures involving suspected or known infectious specimen or cultures.
For all procedures utilizing infected animals.
Spill Procedures
Notify others working in the lab. Remove PPE and don new PPE. Cover area of the spill with absorbent material and add fresh 1:10 bleach:water. Allow 20 munutes (or as directed) of contact time. After 20 minutes, cleanup and dispose of materials.
  • Immediately notify all personnel in the lab and clear all personnel from the area. Remove any contaminated PPE/clothing and leave the lab. 
  • Secure the area by locking doors, posting signage and guarding the area to keep people out of the space. 
For assistance, contact MSU's Biosafety Officer (406-994-6733) or Safety and Risk Management (406-994-2711).
Exposure Procedures
Mucous membrane
Flush eyes, mouth, or nose for 5 minutes at eyewash station.
Other Exposures
Wash area with soap and water for 5 minutes.
Immediately report incident to supervisor, complete a First Report of Injury form, and submit to Safety and Risk Management.
Medical Follow-up
During business hours: Bridger Occupational Health 3406 Laramie Drive. Weekdays 8am -6pm.  Weekends 9am-5pm
After business hours: Bozeman Deaconess Hospital Emergency Room 915 Highland Blvd Bozeman, MT
Disinfection Susceptible to 1:10 bleach:water, 70 % ethanol and formaldehyde.
Inactivation Inactivated by moist heat (15 minutes at 121oC) and dry heat (1 hour at 170oC).
Survival Outside Host Is found naturally in most fresh water sources, including lakes, ponds and rivers. Can survive up to 139 days in distilled water and 415 days in tap water.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Minimum PPE Requirements
Lab coat, disposable gloves, safety glasses, closed toed shoes, long pants
Additional Precautions
Additioanl PPE may be required depending on lab specific SOPs and IBC Protocol.