Legionella DNA, Qualitative, Real-Time PCR

Test Code

Quest Code

CPT Codes
87541, 87798

Legionella species and Legionella pneumophila

Preferred Specimen
1 mL bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) or bronchial wash collected in a sterile plastic leak-proof container or
1 mL sputum collected in a sputum collection kit or a sterile plastic leak-proof container

Minimum Volume
0.3 mL

Other Acceptable Specimens
Throat or nasopharyngeal swab collected in 3 mL M4 media or VCM medium (green-cap) or equivalent (UTM) tube

Throat, nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs: Use sterile vials containing 3 mL of sterile VCM, M4, or equivalent (UTM) media. If using swabs, use only sterile dacron or rayon swabs. Do not use calcium alginate swabs, as they may contain substances that inhibit PCR testing. Break applicator sticks off near the tip to permit tightening of the cap.

Transport Temperature
Refrigerated (cold packs)

Specimen Stability
Room temperature: 48 hours
Refrigerated: 14 days
Frozen: 30 days

Reject Criteria (Eg, hemolysis? Lipemia? Thaw/Other?)

Calcium alginate swabs

Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction

FDA Status
This test was developed and its analytical performance characteristics have been determined by Quest Diagnostics. It has not been cleared or approved by FDA. This assay has been validated pursuant to the CLIA regulations and is used for clinical purposes.

Setup Schedule

Set up: Mon-Sat; Report available: 1-2 days

Reference Range
Legionella species Not detected
Legionella pneumophila Not detected

Clinical Significance
Legionellae are ubiquitous in environmental water sources and may cause sporadic as well as epidemic cases of atypical pneumonia after inhalation of contaminated water droplets. This assay detects and differentiates legionella pneumophila and non-pneumophila legionella species in patient respiratory specimens. 

Performing Laboratory
Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute-San Juan Capistrano, CA
33608 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-2042

The CPT Codes provided in this document are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Please direct any questions regarding coding to the payor being billed. Any Profile/panel component may be ordered separately. Reflex tests are performed at an additional charge.