This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose topic is Legionella pnuemophilia. While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how Legionella pnuemophilia will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a traditional question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a topic is quite valuable.
KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS CONDITION (ON EXAMS)
When it comes to standardized exams, each topic has its own “code” marked by key buzzwords, lab findings, clues, etc. If you are well versed in this code you will be able to more quickly identify the condition that is being discussed, and get the right answer on the exam you are taking. Below is the “code” for Legionella pnuemophilia.
- Recent exposures: cruises, hotel visits, hospital/nursing home stays are all classic
- Gram negative rods can be seen on a gram stain. With this in mind, a sputum gram stain may show many neutrophils but few/no organisms.
- Watery diarrhea in the setting of a high fever, headache, and confusion is fairly classic (although not all these symptoms may be present).
- Hyponatremia is a classic finding
Question # 1
Explanation # 1
Question # 2
Explanation # 2
TESTABLE FACTS ABOUT THIS TOPIC (BEYOND ITS IDENTIFICATION)
Many questions on standardized exams go beyond simply recognizing the underlying topic. Often there are specific testable facts regarding some aspect of the topic’s pathophysiology/management/clinical implications that are commonly asked. Some of these are listed below:
- Transmission: Aerosol transmission from environmental water sources/habitats such as air conditioners or hot water tanks. NO person to person transmission.
- How to diagnosis this condition:
- Culture on buffered charcoal yeast extract (BCYE): this organisms grows on this selective media.
- Legionella urine antigen test
- Treatment: macrolides (like azithromycin)
Page Updated: 04.25.2017