Special Issue "Legionella: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Typing"

A special issue of Diagnostics (ISSN 2075-4418). This special issue belongs to the section "Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Maria Scaturro
Guest Editor
Department of Infectious Diseases, National Reference Laboratory for Legionella, Rome, Italy
Interests: diagnosis and typing of Legionella, specifically in outbreak events
Dr. Maria Luisa Ricci
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Infectious Diseases, National Reference Laboratory for Legionella, Rome, Italy
Interests: bacteriology; Legionella; diagnosis; typing; outbreak investigation; disinfection
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Legionella is a fastidious Gram-negative pathogen, responsible for Legionnaires' disease (LD), an often severe and potentially fatal form of pneumonia. After the inhalation of contaminated aerosols, Legionella reaches and enters macrophages, escaping the lysosome–phagosome system.  Susceptibility to disease is associated with smoking, older age, respiratory disease, diabetes, alcohol misuse, cancer and immunosuppression.

The treatment of sporadic cases and rapid control of LD outbreaks is possible if a rapid diagnosis is obtained and possibly in concert with discriminatory bacterial typing for immediate epidemiological responses. Clinical diagnosis is essentially based on the detection of urinary antigens; the culture of respiratory fluid is rarely used. A fourfold or greater rise in the specific serum titer of antibodies for Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, measured using validated reagents, is also one of the criteria for case definition. Molecular diagnosis, based on the detection of DNA in respiratory samples, is still little adopted, in part because in terms of case definition, it only suggests a probable case. Culture remains the diagnostic gold standard, although it is time consuming and poorly sensitive. Importantly, the isolation of the infecting strain allows epidemiological typing to be performed, which provides valuable data for the control and prevention of further cases. However, no diagnostic method is entirely satisfactory, so it is often necessary to utilize more than one method.

The typing of Legionella strains is of great importance in investigations of LD outbreaks and sporadic cases. L. pneumophila is the species most frequently responsible for disease, and the serogroup 1 is that more often isolated from clinical samples. Isolates of L. pneumophila serogroup 1 can be rapidly sub-grouped with monoclonal antibody panels based on the international monoclonal antibody   subgrouping panel (Dresden panel). However, this method has poor discriminatory power. A sequence-based typing method, which discriminates L. pneumophila into more than 2000 types, has now become the international standard, with its associated online database. Recently, whole-genome typing and core-genome typing have been developed to better characterize the genomes involved in epidemic events. Several studies have demonstrated that whole-genome sequencing has the potential to become the ultimate Legionella typing method.

Dr. Maria Scaturro
Dr. Maria Luisa Ricci
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diagnostics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Legionnaires' disease
  • Outbreak investigation
  • Diagnosis
  • Real-time PCR
  • Legionella typing
  • cgMLST and wgMLST

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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