BMJ Case Reports 2010; doi:10.1136/bcr.12.2009.2519
  • Learning from errors

Swine flu: false-positive rapid flu swab with resulting misdiagnosis of a case of Legionella pneumonia

  1. Roger J Trent
  1. Department of Medicine, Countess of Chester NHS Trust, Chester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Roger J Trent, roger.trent{at}
  • Published 16 August 2010


A 59-year-old man presented with a severe flu-like illness and widespread pulmonary infiltrates on chest x-ray. A rapid influenza direct test was positive and the patient was nursed in isolation. On subsequent review, a diagnosis of probable atypical pneumonia was made, which was confirmed with positive urinary serology for Legionella pneumophila and treatment with appropriate antibiotics was started. A real-time PCR test for influenza A and B was negative at 72 h. The patient made a slow but full recovery and was discharged after 14 days.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Published 16 August 2010
No Related Web Pages

Register for free content

The full text of all Editor's Choice articles and summaries of every article are free without registration

The full text of Images in ... articles are free to registered users

Only fellows can access the full text of case reports (apart from Editor's Choice) - become a fellow today, or encourage your institution to, so that together we can grow and develop this resource

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the case reports as they are published, and let us know what you think by commenting on the Editor's blog

Navigate This Article