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ID#:10154
Description:This micrograph depicted details seen in a lung tissue specimen from a Knoxville patient with fatal pneumonia due to Legionnaires’ disease. The tissue was stained using hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) stain. Legionella pneumophila are Gram-negative bacteria. Using H&E stain, these organisms, if present in the specimen, would stain a pink or red color. Note how the alveolar spaces are congested with a leukocytic infiltrate in response to the infection.

How serious is it? What is the treatment?

Legionnaires' disease can be very serious and can cause death in up to 5% to 30% of cases. Most cases can be treated successfully with antibiotics, and healthy people usually recover from infection.
What are the symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease?

Legionnaires' disease can have symptoms like many other forms of pneumonia, so it can be hard to diagnose at first. Signs of the disease can include: a high fever, chills, and a cough. Some people may also suffer from muscle aches and headaches. Chest X-rays are needed to find the pneumonia caused by the bacteria, and other tests can be done on sputum (phlegm), as well as blood or urine to find evidence of the bacteria in the body.

Symptoms usually begin 2-14 days after being exposed to the bacteria.

A milder infection caused by the same type of Legionella bacteria is called Pontiac Fever, symptoms of which usually last for 2-5 days and may also include fever, headaches, and muscle aches; however, there is no pneumonia. Symptoms resolve on their own without treatment and without causing further problems.

Pontiac Fever and Legionnaires’ disease may also be called “Legionellosis” separately or together.

High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (6.57 MB)
Content Providers(s):CDC/ Dr. William Cherry
Creation Date:1978
Photo Credit:
Links:CDC – Div. of bacterial and Mycotic Diseases – Legionellosis: Legionnaire's Disease (LD) and Pontiac Fever
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Copyright Restrictions:None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.

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