BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-007916

Acute Legionella pneumophila infection masquerading as acute alcoholic hepatitis

  1. Chistopher Tan1
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Redcliffe Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Department of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  3. 3Department of Intensive Care, The Prince Charles hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonathan Michael Hunter, jonhunter{at}


A middle-aged man had deteriorated rapidly in hospital after being misdiagnosed with acute alcoholic hepatitis. Acute Legionnaires disease (Legionellosis) was subsequently diagnosed on rapid antigen urinary testing and further confirmed serologically. This led to appropriate antibiotic treatment and complete clinical resolution. Physicians caring for patients with alcohol-related liver disease should consider Legionella pneumophila in their differential diagnosis even with a paucity of respiratory symptoms.

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