Evaluation of Legionella pneumophila SGUT Serotypes Isolated from Bath Water Using a Multiplex-PCR Serotyping Assay

Jpn J Infect Dis. 2023 Jan 24;76(1):77-79. doi: 10.7883/yoken.JJID.2022.397. Epub 2022 Aug 31.


Legionella pneumophila, the primary causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, is classified into at least 15 serogroups (SGs). Before genotyping, serotyping is first performed to limit the sources of L. pneumophila infections that caused an outbreak. In addition to conventional assays using monoclonal or polyclonal antisera, serotyping using multiplex polymerase chain reaction (M-PCR) was recently developed for L. pneumophila. In this study, we applied the M-PCR system to 41 strains that remained to be SGUT (untypable) by slide agglutination tests among the 220 L. pneumophila strains isolated from bath water in Kobe City during 2016-2020, to determine SG-genotypes (SGg) by PCR amplification of the specific target gene of the SGs. Among the 41 SGUT strains, SGg4/10/14 was the most predominant (24/41, 58.5%), followed by SGg1 (7/41, 17.1%). Seven strains, except for the strains determined as SGg1, were identified as belonging to a single SGg by M-PCR serotyping (SGg5 [3/41, 7.3%], SGg8 [3/41, 7.3%], and SGg7 [1/41, 2.4%]). Furthermore, we found that the seven strains identified as SGg1 harbored particular genotypes. In conclusion, the M-PCR serotyping assay will be helpful for investigating the distribution of L. pneumophila in environmental and clinical settings.

Keywords: Legionella pneumophila; bath water; multiplex-PCR serotyping assay; serogroup.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Legionella pneumophila*
  • Legionella* / genetics
  • Legionnaires' Disease* / diagnosis
  • Legionnaires' Disease* / epidemiology
  • Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Serogroup
  • Serotyping
  • Water


  • Water