The role of Legionella spp. in the aetiology of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) is largely unknown. In this case-control study, conducted in a general practitioner setting during 2000 and 2001, nose and throat samples from patients presenting with ARIs (n = 230) and controls (n = 200) were analysed for the presence of Legionella spp. by real-time PCR. Legionella DNA was not detected in any of the cases or controls. Thus, Legionella spp. do not seem to play a role in patients presenting with ARIs, nor were they present in patients who visited their general practitioner for complaints other than ARIs.