Legionella spp.identification

Laboratory Fee Schedule
Procedure #:  MAA0035A
CPT: 87077

Synonym(s): Legionnaires' disease, legionellosis, Legion fever

Requisition Form


Test Description

Identification of Legionella spp.

Pre-Approval Needed

Yes; Pre-approval needed from Epidemiology for environmental isolates. 

Supplemental Information Required


Supplemental Form(s)


Performed on Specimens from (sources)

Human (Environmental origin: Isolates only with prior approval) 

Sample/Specimen Type for Testing


  • Tissue; Pleural Fluid; Sputum; Bronchial Washings in sterile, leakproof container. 

Pure Isolate

  • Isolates should be prepared on appropriate slants-Buffered Charcoal Yeast (BCYE) 

Minimum Volume/Size Required

Clinical:  500µl  

Isolate:  At least one viable colony 

Storage/Preservation Prior to Shipping

  • Clinical sample: < 48 hours store at 4°C

≥48 hours: Freeze immediately at ≤-20°C

Isolate: Store ≤14 days at 4°C

Transport Medium

 Appropriate solid medium that supports growth, such as BCYE 

Specimen Labeling

  • Two patient-specific identifiers required (e.g., patient full name, date of birth, Medical record number)
  • Identifiers on specimen must exactly match submission form.

Shipping and Specimen Handling Requirements

  • Ship according to Dangerous Good Regulations, IATA, and/or CFR 49. 


  •     <48hrs from collection ship on cold pack 
  •     >48hrs freeze at -70C and ship on dry ice. 


  • Ship on cold pack.  


MALDI-TOF (Mass Spectrometry); Bacterial culture ; Direct Immunofluorescence assay

Turn-around Time

4-21 days


  • Material must be viable. 
  • Improper storage or shipping temperatures limit organism recovery.

Common Causes for Rejection

  • Insufficient quantity
  • Unacceptable specimen type or source
  • Improper shipping conditions
  • Expired media or collection container
  • Discrepancies between specimen label and submission form
  • Incomplete or missing submission form

Additional Information

Non Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 specimens will be forwarded to CDC for further testing.