Sputum Staining for Legionnaires' Disease

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To the editor: The article by Broome and colleagues (1) in the January 1979 issue on demonstration of the agent of Legionnaires' disease in sputum specimens by direct immunofluo-rescent staining further strengthens the prospect of early diagnosis. Several other authors have recently reported similar observations (2, 3). This large series from the Center for Disease Control adds to the evidence, but unfortunately does not yet give us information on the false-negative rate in acute infection when respiratory secretions are promptly processed. As the authors point out, the frequency of positive tests might have been higher than 9% if the specimens

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