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Legionella is a bacterium that is naturally found in water; and growing best in warm water. Some species have been known to cause diseases in humans, notably Legionnaires’ Disease and Pontiac Fever, though any disease caused by the bacterium is referred to as legionellosis. Transmission of Legionella is not passed from person to person; rather, it is contracted when the person inhales a nuclei droplet in mist or vapor containing the bacteria.
Reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease have steadily increased in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the U.S. has grown by nearly nine times since 2000. In 2018, 10,000 cases were reported in the U.S. However, the CDC speculates that Legionnaire’s disease is underdiagnosed. The disease is fatal for about 1 in 10 infected.
Legionella are gram-negative rods and require selective media to grow. These are mesophilic bacteria (35-37°C). To date, there are 50 known species of Legionella and about 70 serogroups have been recognized to cause disease in humans. The most common species of Legionella that causes Legionnaire’s disease is Legionella pneumophila Serogroup 1.
Legionella Testing Matrix
CDC Culture Method Test Code 1015
Legiolert Method Test Code 1015.4
ISO Culture Method Test Code 1015.6
qPCR Method Test Code 2015
120 mL Sample Size
250 mL Sample Size
1 Liter Sample Size
Legionella and Manufacturing
Legionella bacteria can be found in potable and non-potable water sources as well as in equipment in manufacturing environments. Download Legionella Testing for Manufacturing Plants for more information on test methods and specific sources where the bacteria may be found.
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