Enzyme immunoassay for detection of antibodies against isolated flagella of Legionella pneumophila

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1995 Sep;14(9):764-7. doi: 10.1007/BF01690990.


Flagella of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, strain Philadelphia (ATCC 33152), were isolated and used as antigen to detect antibodies by enzyme immunoassay (EIA) in sera of patients with significant titers against Legionella as determined by the indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Healthy blood donors served as a control group. Whereas the sera of blood donors were negative in both assays, sera of patients showed two patterns of reactivity. Sera with elevated titers against Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 or Legionella gormanii in IFA usually demonstrated high titers in EIA. However, high IFA titers against Legionella bozemanii were associated with low titers in EIA. The data show that flagella protein of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 strain Philadelphia is of limited value for the detection of antibodies against Legionella other than Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, although in vitro studies revealed genus-specific epitopes. This might be due to unpredictable variabilities in the expression of flagella in vivo.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Flagella / immunology*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Legionella pneumophila / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial