Legionella Infections


-  Understand the epidemiology, main clinical aspects, diagnosis and treatment of infection by Legionella;

-  Understand the importance of maintenance of equipment associated with the production of aerosols and disease prevention measures.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Prof.ª Doutora Maria de Jesus Chasqueira


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Herwaldt LA, Marra AR. Legionella: a reemerging pathogen. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2018 Aug;31(4):325-333. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0000000000000468.

Mou Q, Leung PHM. Differential expression of virulence genes in Legionella pneumophila growing in Acanthamoeba and human monocytes. Virulence. 2018 Jan 1;9(1):185-196. doi: 10.1080/21505594.2017.1373925.

Pierre DM, Baron J, Yu VL, Stout JE. Diagnostic testing for Legionnaires' disease. Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. 2017 Aug 29;16(1):59. doi: 10.1186/s12941-017-0229-6

Cristovam E, Almeida D, Caldeira D, Ferreira JJ, Marques T. Accuracy of diagnostic tests for Legionnaires' disease: a systematic review. J Med Microbiol. 2017 Apr;66(4):485-489. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.000454

David S, Afshar B, Mentasti M, Ginevra C, Podglajen I, Harris SR, Chalker VJ, Jarraud S, Harrison TG, Parkhill J.. Seeding and Establishment of Legionella pneumophila in Hospitals: Implications for Genomic Investigations of Nosocomial Legionnaires' Disease. Clin Infect Dis. 2017 May 1;64(9):1251-1259. doi: 10.1093/cid/cix153.

Essig A et al. Microbiological diagnosis and molecular typing of Legionella strains during an outbreak of legionellosis in Southern Germany.. Int J Med Microbiol. (2016) Feb;306(2):109-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmm.2016.01.001.

Mercante JW, Winchell JM. Current and emerging Legionella diagnostics for laboratory and outbreak investigations. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2015 Jan;28(1):95-133. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00029-14.

Phin N, Parry-Ford F, Harrison T, Stagg HR, Zhang N, Kumar K, Lortholary O, Zumla A, Abubakar I. Epidemiology and clinical management of Legionnaires' disease. Lancet Infect Dis. 2014 Oct;14(10):1011-21. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(14)70713-3

 Gomez-Valero L, Buchrieser C. Genome dynamics in Legionella: the basis of versatility and adaptation to intracellular replication. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2013 Jun 1;3(6). pii: a009993. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a009993

Teaching method

The lectures are taught by teachers of curricular unit, depending on the respective specializations. The form of lecture, in which they will address issues considered essential by providing data to guide students to an individual study.

Laboratory practical classes will enable all students to practice the different methodologies used in the diagnosis and typing.

Evaluation method

Student assessment – Written examination finally multiple choice test of 20 questions (duration 30 minutes) 50%.

Oral presentation and discussion of topics by groups of two students. Themes are distributed in 1st class and the presentation of each theme has duration of 20 minutes 50%.

Subject matter

-  General characteristics and epidemiology of Legionnaires disease: clinical and therapeutic. The importance of early diagnosis;

-  Prevention and surveillance: the importance of maintenance of equipment associated with the production of Nosocomial Infection aerosols: definitions, prevention and surveillance measures;

-  Laboratory diagnosis: Culture of biological samples in BCYE a and GVPC. Search antigen in respiratory

specimens by direct immunofluorescence. Antibodies in sera by indirect immunofluorescence. L.pneumophila sg1 antigen in urine, for immunochromatography;

-  Analysis and interpretation of results;

-  Typing by molecular biology;

-  Cell Culture;

-  Study of gene expression;

-  Molecular biology in clinical diagnosis.


Programs where the course is taught: