Five new Legionella species isolated from water

Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1993 Apr;43(2):329-37. doi: 10.1099/00207713-43-2-329.


Fourteen Legionella-like strains isolated from aquatic sources have been characterized serologically, biochemically, and in terms of DNA relatedness. The strains grew on buffered charcoal-yeast extract agar but not on blood agar and displayed phenotypic characteristics typical of the family Legionellaceae, including a requirement for cysteine, cellular fatty acid compositions in which branched-chain acids predominate, and the possession of isoprenoid quinones of the ubiquinone series with more than 10 isoprene units in their side chains. All were nonfermentative, lacked urease, were incapable of nitrate reduction, and reacted positively with a DNA probe specific for the Legionellaceae. DNA hybridization studies in which the hydroxyapatite method was used demonstrated that the strains represented five new species of the genus Legionella. Nine of the strains were more than 90% interrelated, and the name Legionella londiniensis sp. nov. is proposed for this group. Two strains formed a second hybridization group, for which the name Legionella nautarum sp. nov. is proposed, while the three remaining species, Legionella geestiana sp. nov., Legionella quateirensis sp. nov., and Legionella worsleiensis sp. nov., are each represented by a single strain. The levels of relatedness of the new species to each other are 23% or less, and the levels of relatedness to other members of the genus ranged from 0 to 36%. L. geestiana, L. nautarum, and L. londiniensis are serologically unrelated to all other known Legionella species. L. worsleiensis cannot be separated from Legionella pneumophila serogroup 4 by serological methods and is also serologically indistinguishable from L. quateirensis; distinctions may be made on the basis of fatty acid composition and biochemical reactions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Base Composition
  • Classification
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • England
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Hospitals
  • Legionella / classification*
  • Legionella / growth & development
  • Legionella / isolation & purification*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Quinones / analysis
  • Terpenes
  • Wales
  • Water Microbiology*
  • Water Supply


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Fatty Acids
  • Quinones
  • Terpenes