Click Here for our COVID-19 Resources

Legionella Species

It’s quite common to find Legionella species other than Legionella pneumophila in cooling towers and water distribution systems. To date, more than 58 Legionella species have been described in published articles. Of these approximately 25 are linked to disease, namely Legionella pneumophila species serogroup 1, 3, 4, and 6.

Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 is the most virulent strain causing most infections. The remaining non-pneumophila species (found in water and soil) are considered non-pathogenic until shown to cause disease. Of the CDC reported cases less than 5% is attributed to non-pathogenic species. Since risk for infection is rare, adjusting your response to an adequate threat level is appropriate.

To learn more, click the table rows below for each Legionella species.

LEGIONELLA SPECIESSEROGROUPHUMAN INFECTIONREFERENCE
L. adelaidensisNoLegionella adelaidensis, a new species isolated from cooling tower water. Benson RF, et al.) J Clin Microbiol. 1991 May;29(5):1004-6
L. anisaYesPleural infection caused by Legionella anisa. Bornstein N, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1989 Sep;27(9):2100-1.
L. beliardensisNoLegionella gresilensis sp. nov. and Legionella beliardensis sp. nov., isolated from water in France. Lo Presti F, et al. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2001 Nov;51(Pt 6):1949-57.
L. birminghamensisYesLegionella birminghamensis sp. nov. isolated from a cardiac transplant recipient. Wilkinson H, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1987 Nov;25(11):2120-2
L. bozemanii1YesPneumonia due to Legionella bozemanii: first report of a case in Europe. Mitchell RG. et al. J Infect. 1984 May;8(3):251-5
L. bozemanii2NoLegionella bozemanii serogroup 2: a new etiological agent. Tang PW. et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1984 Jan;19(1):30-3.
L. brunensisNoLegionella moravica sp. nov. and Legionella brunensis sp. nov. isolated from cooling-tower water. Wilkinson HW. et al. Ann Inst Pasteur Microbiol. 1988 Jul-Aug;139(4):393-402.
L. busanensisNoLegionella busanensis sp. nov., isolated from cooling tower water in Korea. Park MY. et al. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2003 Jan;53(Pt 1):77-80.
L. cardiacaYesLegionella cardiaca sp. nov., isolated from a case of native valve endocarditis in a human heart. Pearce MM et al. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2012 Dec;62(Pt 12):2946-54. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.039248-0. Epub 2012 Jan 27.
L. cherriiYesDisease due to the Legionellaceae (other than Legionella pneumophila). Historical, microbiological, clinical, and epidemiological review. Fang GD et al. Medicine (Baltimore). 1989 Mar;68(2):116-32.
L. cincinnatiensisYesLegionella cincinnatiensis sp. nov. isolated from a patient with pneumonia. Thacker WL. J Clin Microbiol. 1988 Mar;26(3):418-20.
L. clemsonensisYesLegionella clemsonensis sp. nov., - a green fluorescing Legionella strain from a patient with pneumonia. Palmer A, Painter J., et al., Microbiol Immunol. 2016 Sep 13. doi: 10.1111/1348-0421.12439. [Epub ahead of print]
L. donaldsoniiNoLegionella prevalence in wastewater treatment plants of Taiwan. Huang SW et al. Water Sci Technol. 2009;60(5):1303-10. doi: 10.2166/wst.2009.410
L. drancourtii NoLegionella drancourtii sp. nov., a strictly intracellular amoebal pathogen. La Scola B et al. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2004 May;54(Pt 3):699-703.
L. dresdenensis
NoLegionella dresdenensis sp. nov., isolated from river water. Lück PC. et al. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2010 Nov;60(Pt 11):2557-62. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.017863-0. Epub 2009 Dec 11.
L. drozanskiiNoLegionella drozanskii sp. nov., Legionella rowbothamii sp. nov. and Legionella fallonii sp. nov.: three unusual new Legionella species. Adeleke AA et al.Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2001 May;51(Pt 3):1151-60.
L. dumoffiiYesLegionnaires' disease caused by Legionella dumoffii in distilled water. Joly JR. et al. CMAJ. 1986 Dec 1;135(11):1274-7.
L. erythraNoLipopolysaccharides of Legionella erythra and Legionella oakridgensis. Sonesson A. et al. Can J Microbiol. 1994 Aug;40(8):666-71.
L. fairfieldensisNoLegionella fairfieldensis sp. nov. isolated from cooling tower waters in Australia. Thacker WL et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1991 Mar;29(3):475-8.
L. fallonii NoLegionella drozanskii sp. nov., Legionella rowbothamii sp. nov. and Legionella fallonii sp. nov.: three unusual new Legionella species. Adeleke AA et al. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2001 May;51(Pt 3):1151-60.
L. feeleii1YesLegionella feeleii -associated pneumonia in humans. Palutke WA et al. Am J Clin Pathol. 1986 Sep;86(3):348-51.
L. feeleii2YesSecond serogroup of Legionella feeleii strains isolated from humans. Thacker WL et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1985 Jul;22(1):1-4.
L. geestiana NoFive new Legionella species isolated from water. Dennis PJ et al. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1993 Apr;43(2):329-37.
L. genomospecies 1 NoLegionella waltersii sp. nov. and an unnamed Legionella genomospecies isolated from water in Australia. Benson RF et al. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1996 Jul;46(3):631-4.
L. gormaniiYesFirst isolation of Legionella gormanii from human disease. Griffith ME et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1988 Feb;26(2):380-1.
L. gratiana NoLegionella gratiana sp. nov. isolated from French spa water. Bornstein N et al. Res Microbiol. 1989 Oct;140(8):541-52.
L. gresilensis
NoLegionella gresilensis sp. nov. and Legionella beliardensis sp. nov., isolated from water in France. Lo Presti F. et al. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2001 Nov;51(Pt 6):1949-57.
L. hackeliae
1YesTen new species of Legionella. Brenner DJ, et al. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 35: 50-59, 1985.
L. hackeliae 2YesSecond serogroup of Legionella hackeliae isolated from a patient with pneumonia. Wilkinson HW, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1985 Oct;22(4):488-9.
L. impletisoli NoLegionella impletisoli sp. nov. and Legionella yabuuchiae sp. nov., isolated from soils contaminated with industrial wastes in Japan. Kuroki H, et al. Syst Appl Microbiol. 2007 Jun;30(4):273-9. Epub 2007 Jan 2.
L. israelensis
NoSeasonal distribution of legionellae isolated from various types of water in Israel. Bercovier H, et al. Isr J Med Sci. 1986 Sep;22(9):644-6.
L. jamestowniensis
NoInfection of macrophage-like cells by Legionella species that have not been associated with disease. O'Connell WA, et al. Infect Immun. 1996 Oct;64(10):4381-4.
Candidatus L. jeonii NoPhylogenetic characterization of Legionella-like endosymbiotic X-bacteria in Amoeba proteus: a proposal for 'Candidatus Legionella jeonii' sp. nov. Park M, et al. Environ Microbiol. 2004 Dec;6(12):1252-63.
L. jordanisYesAortic valve endocarditis associated with Legionella infection after Mycoplasma pneumonia. Littrup P, et al. Br Heart J. 1987 Sep;58(3):293-5.
L. lansingensisYesLegionella lansingensis sp. nov. isolated from a patient with pneumonia and underlying chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Thacker WL, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1992 Sep;30(9):2398-401.
L. londiniensisNoFive new Legionella species isolated from water. Dennis PJ, et al. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1993 Apr;43(2):329-37.
L. longbeachae1YesLegionella longbeachae species nova, another etiologic agent of human pneumonia. McKinney RM, et al. Ann Intern Med. 1981 Jun;94(6):739-43.
L. longbeachae2YesRecognition of a second serogroup of Legionella longbeachae. Bibb WF, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1981 Dec;14(6):674-7.
L. lyticaNoLegionella-like and other amoebal pathogens as agents of community-acquired pneumonia. Marrie TJ, et al. Emerg Infect Dis. 2001 Nov-Dec;7(6):1026-9.
L. maceacherniiYesFatal Legionella maceachernii pneumonia. Wilkinson HW, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1985 Dec;22(6):1055
L. massiliensisNoLegionella tunisiensis sp. nov. and Legionella massiliensis sp. nov., isolated from environmental water samples. Campocasso A, et al. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2012 Dec;62(Pt 12):3003-6. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.037853-0. Epub 2012 Feb 3.
L. micdadeiYesOpportunistic lung infection due to "Pittsburgh Pneumonia Agent". Myerowitz RL, et al. N Engl J Med. 1979 Nov 1;301(18):953-8.
L. moravicaNoLegionella moravica sp. nov. and Legionella brunensis sp. nov. isolated from cooling-tower water. Wilkinson HW, et al. Ann Inst Pasteur Microbiol. 1988 Jul-Aug;139(4):393-402.
L. nagasakii/nagasakiensisNoLegionella nagasakiensis sp. nov., isolated from water samples and from a patient with pneumonia. Yang G, et al. nt J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2012 Feb;62(Pt 2):284-8. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.027193-0. Epub 2011 Mar 11.
L. nautarumNoFive new Legionella species isolated from water. Dennis PJ, et al. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1993 Apr;43(2):329-37.
L. norrlandicaNoLegionella norrlandica sp. nov., isolated from the biopurification systems of wood processing plants. Rizzardi K, Winiecka-Krusnell J. et al.,Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2015 Feb;65(Pt 2):598-603. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.068940-0. Epub 2014 Nov 18.
L. oakridgensisYesLegionella oakridgensis: laboratory diagnosis of a human infection. Tang PW, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1985 Mar;21(3):462-3.
L. parisiensisYesThe first clinical isolate of Legionella parisiensis from a liver transplant patient with pneumonia. Lo Presti F, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1997 Jul;35(7):1706-9.
L. pneumophila (Philadelphia 1)1YesClassification of the Legionnaires' disease bacterium: Legionella pneumophila, genus novum, species nova, of the family Legionellaceae, familia nova. Brenner DJ, et a. Ann Intern Med. 1979 Apr;90(4):656-8.
L. pneumophila (Knoxville 1)1YesLegionellae isolated from clinical and environmental samples in Spain (1983-90): monoclonal typing of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates. Pelaz C, et al. Epidemiol Infect. 1992 Jun;108(3):397-402.
L. pneumophila (Benidorm 030 E)1YesOutbreak of Legionnaires' disease at University Hospital, Nottingham. Epidemiology, microbiology and control. Colville A, et al. Epidemiol Infect. 1993 Feb;110(1):105-16.
L. pneumophila (France 5811)1YesEvaluation of different primers for DNA fingerprinting of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 strains by polymerase chain reaction. Wiese J, et al. Int J Med Microbiol. 2004 Oct;294(6):401-6.
L. pneumophila (Allentown 1)1YesLegionellae isolated from clinical and environmental samples in Spain (1983-90): monoclonal typing of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates. Pelaz C, et al. Epidemiol Infect. 1992 Jun;108(3):397-402.
L. pneumophila (OLDA)1YesLegionella pneumophila serogroup 1 population in Italy by monoclonal subtyping. Castellani Pastoris M., et al. Epidemiol Infect. 1990 Aug;105(1):169-74.
Legionella pneumophila (Oxford 4032 E)1YesEpidemiological studies using monoclonal antibodies to Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1. Tobin JO, et al. Isr J Med Sci. 1986 Oct;22(10):711-4.
Legionella pneumophila (Bellingham)1YesLegionella pneumophila serogroup 1 population in Italy by monoclonal subtyping. Castellani Pastoris M, et al. Epidemiol Infect. 1990 Aug;105(1):169-74.
Legionella pneumophila (Heysham 1)1YesDevelopment of a standardized subgrouping scheme for Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 using monoclonal antibodies. Joly JR, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1986 Apr;23(4):768-71.
Legionella pneumophila (Camperdown 1)1YesLegionella pneumophila serogroup 1 population in Italy by monoclonal subtyping. Castellani Pastoris M, et al. Epidemiol Infect. 1990 Aug;105(1):169-74.
Legionella pneumophila (Togus 1)2YesRecognition of a new serogroup of Legionnaires disease bacterium. McKinney RM, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1979 Jan;9(1):103-7.
Legionella pneumophila (Bloomington 2)3YesFatal pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila, serogroup 3: demonstration of the bacilli in extrathoracic organs. Watts JC, et al. Ann Intern Med. 1980 Feb;92(2 Pt 1):186-8.
Legionella pneumophila (Los Angeles)4YesPyelonephritis associated with Legionella pneumophila, serogroup 4. Dorman SA, et al. Ann Intern Med. 1980 Dec;93(6):835-7.
L. pneumophila (Portland 1)4YesLegionella pneumophila serogroup Lansing 3 isolated from a patient with fatal pneumonia, and descriptions of L. pneumophila subsp. pneumophila subsp. nov., L. pneumophila subsp. fraseri subsp. nov., and L. pneumophila subsp. pascullei subsp. nov. Brenner DJ, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1988 Sep;26(9):1695-703.
L. pneumophila (Dallas 1E)5YesSerological and genotypic diversity among serogroup 5- reacting environmental Legionella isolates. Garrity GM, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1982 Apr;15(4):646-53.
L. pneumophila (Cambridge 1)5YesLegionella pneumophila: monoclonal antibody typing of clinical and environmental isolates. Brindle RJ, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1982 Apr;15(4):646-53.
L. pneumophila (Chicago 1)6YesLegionella pneumophila serogroup six: isolation from cases of legionellosis, identification by immunofluorescence staining, and immunological response to infection. McKinney RM, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1980 Sep;12(3):395-401.
L. pneumophila (Chicago 8)7YesIsolation and characterization of a seventh serogroup of Legionella pneumophila. Bibb WF, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1983 Feb;17(2):346-8.
L. pneumophila (Concord 3)8YesNew serogroup of Legionella pneumophila, serogroup 8. Bissett ML, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1983 May;17(5):887-91.
Legionella pneumophila (IN-23-G1-C2)9YesLegionella pneumophila serogroup 9: a cause of human pneumonia. Edelstein PH, et al. Ann Intern Med. 1984 Aug;101(2):196-8.
Legionella pneumophila (Leiden 1)10YesWater-related nosocomial pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila serogroups 1 and 10. Meenhorst PL, et al. Infect Dis. 1985 Aug;152(2):356-64.
L. pneumophila (797-PA-H)11Yes11th serogroup of Legionella pneumophila isolated from a patient with fatal pneumonia. Thacker WL, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1986 Jun;23(6):1146-7.
Legionella pneumophila (570-CO-H)12YesLegionella pneumophila serogroup 12 isolated from human and environmental sources. Thacker WL, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1987 Mar;25(3):569-70.
Legionella pneumophila (82A3105)13YesThirteenth serogroup of Legionella pneumophila isolated from patients with pneumonia. Lindquist DS, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1988 Mar;26(3):586-7.
Legionella pneumophila (1169-MN-H)14YesLegionella pneumophila serogroup 14 isolated from patients with fatal pneumonia. Benson RF, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1988 Feb;26(2):382.
Legionella pneumophila (Lansing 3)
15YesLegionella pneumophila serogroup Lansing 3 isolated from a patient with fatal pneumonia, and descriptions of L. pneumophila subsp. pneumophila subsp. nov., L. pneumophila subsp. fraseri subsp. nov., and L. pneumophila subsp. pascullei subsp. nov. Brenner DJ, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1988 Sep;26(9):1695-703.
L. quateirensisNoFive new Legionella species isolated from water. Dennis PJ, et al. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1993 Apr;43(2):329-37.
L. quinlivanii1NoLegionella quinlivanii sp. nov. isolated from water. Benson RF, et al. Curr. Microbiol. 18: 195-197, 1989
L. quinlivanii2NoSecond serogroup of Legionella quinlivanii isolated from two unrelated sources in the United Kingdom. Birtles RJ, et al. J Appl Bacteriol. 1991 Nov;71(5):402-6.
L. rowbothamiiNoLegionella drozanskii sp. nov., Legionella rowbothamii sp. nov. and Legionella fallonii sp. nov.: three unusual new Legionella species. Adeleke AA, et al. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2001 May;51(Pt 3):1151-60.
L. rubrilucensYesIsolation of Legionella rubrilucens from a pneumonia patient co-infected with Legionella pneumophila. Matsui M, et al. J Med Microbiol. 2010 Oct;59(Pt 10):1242-6. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.016089-0. Epub 2010 Jun 17
L. sainthelensi1YesInfections due to Legionella sainthelensi in New Zealand. Chereshsky AY, et al. N Z Med J. 1986 May 14;99(801):335.
L. sainthelensi2YesLegionella sainthelensi serogroup 2 isolated from patients with pneumonia. Benson RF, et al. Res Microbiol. 1990 May;141(4):453-63.
L. santicrucisNoGrowth of 28 Legionella species on selective culture media: a comparative study. Lee TC, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1993 Oct;31(10):2764-8.
L. saoudiensisNoLegionella saoudiensis sp. nov., isolated from sewage water sample. Leena Hussein Bajrai1, Esam Ibraheem Azhar2, et. al. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary (Published Ahead of Print: 02 August, 2016)
L. shakespeareiNoLegionella shakespearei sp. nov., isolated from cooling tower water. Verma UK, et al. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1992 Jul;42(3):404-7.
L. spiritensis1NoSerological diversity within the species Legionella spiritensis. Harrison TG, et al. J Appl Bacteriol. 1988 Nov;65(5):425-31.
L. steeleiNoLegionella steelei sp. nov., isolated from human respiratory specimens in California, USA, and South Australia. Edelstein PH, et al. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2012 Aug;62(Pt 8):1766-71. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.035709-0. Epub 2011 Sep 23.
L. steigerwaltiiNoTen New Species of Legionella. Brenner DJ, et al. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 35: 50-59, 1985
L. taurinenesisNoLegionella taurinensis sp. nov., a new species antigenically similar to Legionella spiritensis., Lo Presti F, et al. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1999 Apr;49 Pt 2:397-403.
L. tucsonensisYesLegionella tucsonensis sp. nov. isolated from a renal transplant recipient. Thacker WL, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 1989 Aug;27(8):1831-4.
L. tunisiensisNoLegionella tunisiensis sp. nov. and Legionella massiliensis sp. nov., isolated from environmental water samples. Campocasso A., Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2012 Dec;62(Pt 12):3003-6. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.037853-0. Epub 2012 Feb 3.
L. wadsworthiiYesLegionella wadsworthii species nova: a cause of human pneumonia. Edelstein PH, et al. Ann Intern Med. 1982 Dec;97(6):809-13.
L. waltersiiNoLegionella waltersii--a novel cause of pneumonia? König C, et al. Acta Paediatr. 2005 Oct;94(10):1505-7.
L. worsleiensisNoFive new Legionella species isolated from water. Dennis PJ, et al. Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1993 Apr;43(2):329-37.
L. yabuuchiaeNoLegionella impletisoli sp. nov. and Legionella yabuuchiae sp. nov., isolated from soils contaminated with industrial wastes in Japan. Kuroki H, et al. Syst Appl Microbiol. 2007 Jun;30(4):273-9. Epub 2007 Jan 2.