My son in law died on 6/12/09 from what has been determined swine flu. His place of work did test positive for Legionella. He was taken to the hospital 6/1/09 then air lifted later that evening to U of M medical center. He died 10 days later. We did receive a call during this time saying he checked positive for Legionella, and then it was later called a weak positive. My question for you is after 10 days of treatment for something they were not sure of, (massive doses of antibiotics, etc) will an autopsy still show Legionnaires’?
Special stains for Legionella including PCR, fluorescent direct antibody, and various molecular techniques may yield the Legionella. Culture is most useful while the patient is alive. Following death, any microorganism may not survive, especially after a period of weeks. So, special stains and molecular methods are used for an autopsy.