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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1983 Feb;45(2):536-45.

Legionella oakridgensis: unusual new species isolated from cooling tower water.


We describe a new species of Legionella represented by 10 strains isolated from industrial cooling towers. Legionella oakridgensis differed genetically from the other seven species of Legionella in DNA hybridization studies and differed serologically in direct fluorescent-antibody tests. The new species, unlike all other species except L. jordanis, did not require added L-cysteine for growth in serial transfer on charcoal-yeast extract agar. L. oakridgensis, as well as three other species tested, required L-cysteine for primary isolation from animal tissues. L. oakridgensis was the only species of Legionella that failed to produce alkaline phosphatase at pH 8.5. In all other respects, it resembled other species of Legionella, including having a high content of branched-chain cellular fatty acids and being pathogenic for guinea pigs. These bacteria have not yet been associated with human disease, but they are potential causes of legionellosis.

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