Antibiotic susceptibility pattern of Portuguese environmental Legionella isolates

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Introduction: Legionnaires’ Disease is a pneumonia caused by Legionella spp., currently treated empirically with fluoroquinolones and macrolides. In this study, we aim to describe the antibiotic susceptibility pattern of environmental Legionella recovered in the south of Portugal. Methods: Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) determination of 57 Legionella isolates (10 Lp sg 1, 32, Lp sg 2-14 15 L. spp) was achieved by broth microdilution, as described by EUCAST, for azithromycin, clarithromycin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and doxycycline. Results: Fluoroquinolones were the most active antibiotic, displaying the lowest MIC values in contrast to doxycycline which had the highest. MIC90 and epidemiological cut-off (ECOFF) values were, respectively, 0.5/1 mg/L for azithromycin, 0.125/0.25 mg/L for clarithromycin, 0.064/0.125 mg/L for ciprofloxacin, 0.125/0.125 mg/L for levofloxacin and 16/32 mg/L for doxycycline. Discussion: MIC distributions were higher than reported by EUCAST for all antibiotics. Interestingly, two phenotypically resistant isolates with high-level quinolone resistance were identified. This is the first time that MIC distributions, lpeAB and tet56 genes have been investigated in Portuguese environmental isolates of Legionella.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1141115
JournalFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2023


  • antibiotic susceptibility
  • broth microdilution
  • environmental
  • fluoroquinolones
  • Legionella
  • macrolides
  • MIC


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