Legionella longbeachae and legionellosis

Emerg Infect Dis. 2011 Apr;17(4):579-83. doi: 10.3201/eid1704.100446.


Reported cases of legionellosis attributable to Legionella longbeachae infection have increased worldwide. In Australia and New Zealand, L. longbeachae has been a known cause of legionellosis since the late 1980s. All cases for which a source was confirmed were associated with potting mixes and composts. Unlike the situation with other Legionella spp., L. longbeachae-contaminated water systems in the built environment that cause disease have not been reported. Spatially and temporally linked outbreaks of legionellosis associated with this organism also have not been reported. Sporadic cases of disease seem to be limited to persons who have had direct contact with potting soil or compost. Long-distance travel of the organism resulting in infection has not been reported. These factors indicate emergence of an agent of legionellosis that differs in etiology from other species and possibly in route of disease transmission.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Legionella longbeachae / physiology*
  • Legionellosis / diagnosis
  • Legionellosis / epidemiology
  • Legionellosis / transmission*
  • Prevalence
  • Soil Microbiology