Ordering Recommendation

Gold standard test; detects L. pneumophila and other Legionella species in clinical specimens.

New York DOH Approval Status

This test is New York state approved.

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation

Respiratory specimens: Abscess material, aspirates, BAL, fluids, secretions, sputum, or tissue; OR pericardial fluid or blood in SPS Vacutainer® tube for microbiology (ARUP supply #24964). Available online through eSupply using ARUP Connect™ or contact ARUP Client Services at (800) 522-2787.

Specimen Preparation

Fluid: Transfer to a sterile container. Place each specimen in an individually sealed bag. (Min. 0.5 mL) Tissue: Place on gauze moistened with sterile nonbacteriostatic saline to prevent drying and transport in sterile container.
Blood: Transport blood in SPS tube.

Storage/Transport Temperature

Refrigerated. For nonblood specimens: If delay in transport (greater than 48 hours), transport frozen.

Unacceptable Conditions

Stool, urine, wounds, or other nonrespiratory sites. Dry specimens. Specimens in preservatives or viral transport medium (M4, UTM).


Specimen source preferred.


Ambient: 2 hours; Refrigerated: 48 hours; Frozen: 1 week






1-8 days
Negative culture reported at 8 days.  Positive culture reported as soon as detected.

Reference Interval

Culture negative for Legionella species.

Interpretive Data

Compliance Category



Amplified DNA testing (PCR) is also available for respiratory specimens. Refer to Legionella Species by Qualitative PCR (2010125).  Legionella pneumophila DFA (ARUP test code 2004598) is also available.

Hotline History


CPT Codes

87081; Identification CPT codes may vary based on method


Component Test Code* Component Chart Name LOINC
0060113 Culture, Legionella species 593-4
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.


  • Culture, Legionella sp.
  • L. pneumophila culture
  • Legionella Culture
Legionella Species, Culture