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of Nebraskans through diagnostic laboratory
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Testing Results
IMPORTANT! Sites requesting testing must have approval from the appropriate state or local health department before submitting specimens. Approval must be sent to NPHL by email at or by calling (402) 559-9444.

A Special Microbiology Form must accompany the specimens. Some tests require additional forms and patient history. This will be listed below when applicable. When requested, testing will not be performed without all required information.

Please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (866) 290-1406 for further clarification.


  Test: Legionella Culture 
  Synonym: Leigonnaires' disease or LD; Legionellosis; Pontiac Fever 
  Method: Culture; detects L. pneumophila and other Legionella species in clinical specimens 
  Availability: NPHL Special Microbiology Requisition Required. Test performed daily with final report in 7 days. Daily preliminary reports available. 
  Specimen: Respiratory tract secretions and aspirates, tissue, fluid, sputum, abscess material. 
  Collection Device: Sterile container

Specimen Labeling: Test subject to CLIA regulations and requires 2 patient identifiers on specimen container and requisition forms. 
  Volume: Fluid: 0.5-1.0 mL (minimum: 0.5 mL) 
  Storage/Transport: If transport to lab < 2 hours, store and transport ambient. If > 2 hours, store and transport refrigerated. If > 24 hours, store and transport frozen.

Shipping instructions, including specimen handling requirements during transport: Ship specimen Monday - Friday, in biohazard bag with absorbent material. Package and ship as Category B, Biological Substance, UN3373. See instructions and shipping address: Transport via NPHL ground courier (NPHL brown shipper not required). If courier not available, contact Client Services (866) 290-1406 to arrange pickup. 
  Unacceptable: Non-sterile container or leaking container; specimen submitted in saline, formalin, or viral transport medium; dry specimen; urine, stool, other non-respiratory sites. 
  Specimen Stability: Stable at ambient for 2 hours. Stable refrigerated for up to 24 hours. 
  Reference Interval: Negative for Legionella species 
  Reportable Disease: Isolation of Legionella species is reportable within 7 days. 
  Comments: To prevent drying, submit specimen in sterile, non-bacteriostatic water. Do not use saline in specimen collection. DFA in addition to culture is suggested. Notification of positive results is provided. 
  Revised: 7/11/2017 


If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (866) 290-1406.