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A Newly Identified Bacterium Phenotypically Resembling, but Genetically Distinct from, Legionella pneumophila: An Isolate in a Case of Pneumonia

KAREN R. LEWALLEN, M.S.; ROGER M. McKINNEY, Ph.D.; DON J. BRENNER, Ph.D.; C. WAYNE MOSS, Ph.D.; DAVID H. DAIL, M.D.; BERENICE M. THOMASON, B.S.; and ROBERT A. BRIGHT, M.D.
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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Karen R. Lewallen; Analytical Bacteriology Branch, Bacteriology Division, Bureau of Laboratories, Center for Disease Control; Atlanta, GA 30333.


Atlanta, Georgia; and Houston and Wichita Falls, Texas


Ann Intern Med. 1979;91(6):831-834. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-91-6-831
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A bacterium with growth characteristics similar to, but genetically distinct from, either Legionella pneumophila or WIGA (a "rickettsia-like agent") was obtained from a postmortem lung specimen of a patient with fatal atypical pneumonia at the M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute in Houston, Texas. This bacterium and WIGA have essentially the same cellular fatty acid composition, which is distinct from that of L. pneumophila. Deoxyribonucleic acid-relatedness studies show that the isolate from Texas is only about 10% related to both L. pneumophila and WIGA and therefore may represent a new species. This new bacterium should be considered in selecting laboratory procedures in the diagnosis of atypical pneumonia.

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