IDEXX launches rapid water test for Legionella across Europe, Middle East and Africa

The Legiolert test radically simplifies Legionella water testing helping to ensure water systems don't spread Legionnaires disease

Legiolert is a highly sensitive method for the detection of Legionella pneumophila

IDEXX, a global leader in rapid microbiology testing for water, ia introducing Legiolert, a new culture testing method that enables building owners and facility managers to simplify water testing and reduce the risk posed by Legionnaires’ disease.

Legiolert, a highly sensitive method for the confirmed detection of Legionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila) in water is being introrduced for use across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The test delivers results to decision makers in up to seven days faster than traditional testing methods.

Legionella pneumophila is the most common Legionella species in water and the primary cause of Legionnaires’ disease, which is deadly for about 1 in 10 people who contract it and often results in long-lasting symptoms for survivors. 

Launched in 2016 in North America, Legiolert improves public health response times by accurately and sensitively quantifying L. pneumophila in water, providing a confirmed result in 7 days, versus up to 14 days with traditional culture methods.

The new test does not require laborious colony counting or confirmation steps which reduce the need for training and the risk of interpretation errors and frees up time for laboratory staff. 

Leading water microbiology consultant David Sartory recently concluded that the IDEXX Legiolert/Quanti-Tray test is superior to the standard method for quantifying L. pneumophila. His assessment was part of a peer reviewed study, “Evaluation of a most probable number method for the enumeration of Legionella pneumophila from potable and related water samples,” published in the April 2017 issue of Letters in Applied Microbiology.

“IDEXX Water is the global leader in water microbiology. With Legiolert, we continue our commitment to innovation in diagnostic technologies to improve the safety and quality of water worldwide,” said Andrew Headland, Senior Business Manager for IDEXX Water. He added, “Legiolert is so much more sensitive and accurate than current culture methods. Combined with the fact that the product is extremely easy to use and requires minimal training, we expect to see an increase in on-site testing for Legionella pneumophila as well as wide-scale adoption in laboratories.”

The Legiolert test is based on a bacterial enzyme detection technology that signals the presence of L. pneumophila through utilisation of a substrate present in the Legiolert reagent. L. pneumophila cells grow rapidly and reproduce using the rich supply of amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients present in the Legiolert reagent. Actively growing strains of Legionella pneumophila use the added substrate to produce a brown colour indicator.

Though the disease is largely preventable, diagnosed cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Europe reached their highest rate ever in 2014, with 13.5 notifications per million inhabitants, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. For hospitals, nursing homes, hotels and other high-risk buildings, testing drinking water, cooling towers and other building water systems is the only way to ensure an effective risk management plan against Legionella pneumophila.

 

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