Occurrence of virulent genes among environmental isolates of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 strains from various parts of peninsular Malaysia

Trop Biomed. 2008 Dec;25(3):259-61.


Legionella pneumophila are intracellular pathogens, associated with human disease, attributed to the presence and absence of certain virulent genes. In this study, virulent gene loci (lvh and rtxA regions) associated with human disease were determined. Thirty-three cooling tower water isolates, isolated between 2004 to 2006, were analyzed for the presence of these genes by PCR method. Results showed that 19 of 33 (57.5%) of the L. pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates have both the genes. Six (18.2%) of the isolates have only the lvh gene and 2 (6.1%) of the isolates have only the rtxA gene. However, both genes were absent in 6 (18.2%) of the L. pneumophila isolates. The result of our study provides some insight into the presence of the disease causing L. pneumophila serogroup 1 in the environment. Molecular epidemiological studies will provide better understanding of the prevalence of the disease in Malaysia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Toxins / genetics*
  • Legionella pneumophila / classification
  • Legionella pneumophila / genetics*
  • Legionella pneumophila / pathogenicity
  • Malaysia
  • Serotyping
  • Virulence / genetics
  • Water Microbiology*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Lvh protein, Legionella pneumophila
  • RtxA protein, Vibrio cholerae