Detection of Legionella antigen in urine by ELISA for diagnosis of Legionaires' disease in parts of South East Nigeria
Diagnosis of Legionnaires’ disease by urinary antigen detection has been shown to be specific and timely. This study is designed to evaluate the presence of Legionella urinary antigen in mid-stream urine of individuals with respiratory tract infections. A total of 90 samples were collected from 38 males and 52 females. The samples were processed by Enzyme- Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) technique within 24 hours of collection or preserved at 2 – 8 oC for not more than 14 days. The results showed 12.2% prevalence of Legionnaires’ disease in the subjects. A higher prevalence of the disease was observed more in males 63.6% than in females 36.4%. All age groups were at risk for the disease. Hospital admission duration and type of water for bathing were statistically significant (p<0.5) risk factors to Legionnaires’ disease infection. Other risk factors like, level of education, type of artificial air source, smoking habit, alcohol consumption and location of residence did not show statistical significance (p>0.5). It is therefore recommended that Legionella urinary antigen test be included as a primary test for all respiratory tract illnesses since it permits early diagnosis, which will enable prompt treatment of the disease.