Legiolert’s UK SCA acceptance for L. pneumophila testing

IDEXX, reportedly the global leader in rapid microbiological testing for water, has announced that its Legiolert culture testing method for Legionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila), has been accepted by the UK’s Standing Committee of Analysts.

Legiolert, for the accurate analysis of samples from cooling towers, hot and cold water systems, spa pools. and a variety of other water sources, is now specified as a recommended method in the Committee’s “blue book” publication, The determination of Legionella bacteria in waters and other environmental samples (2020) – Part 2 – Culture Methods for their detection and enumeration.

Legiolert was launched in Europe by IDEXX in 2017, and is described by the company as  ‘a highly sensitive method for the confirmed detection of L. pneumophila in water, delivering results up to seven days faster than traditional culture testing methods’. L. pneumophila is the most common Legionella species in water, and according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control clinical culture data, causes 97% of all cases of Legionnaires’ disease.  Legionnaires’ disease is deadly for about 1 in 10 people who contract it, and often causes long-lasting symptoms for survivors.

IDEXX said: “A number of peer-reviewed studies have highlighted superior performance of Legiolert when compared with the standard method for detection of Legionella pneumophila. The ISO method has a number of limitations, including a significant false negative error rate, which can result in undetected contamination and consequent risk to human health, especially in the case of vulnerable populations. In contrast, Legiolert is a culture method which is both accurate and easy to use.” Legiolert is recognised with AFNOR certification for hot and cold sanitary water and cooling tower water (Reference No IDX 33/06 06/19).  

The Legiolert test is based on a bacterial enzyme detection technology that signals the presence of L. pneumophila through utilisation of 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 L. pneumophila produce a brown colour indicator.