This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Legionella testing methods reliability questioned

21 June 2017

A report by Brunel University has raised questions over the effectiveness of methods used to test for the presence of legionella bacteria in environmental samples.

Barriers to Effective Legionella Control in a Changing World - A practitioners View refers to study conducted in 2014 by Whiley and Taylor that saw just under 4,000 samples analysed, with 34% of samples initially testing positive.

These results were achieved by using 'culture methods', said the report, but when this was changed to the use of a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method, a result of 72% was seen.

Stating that neither method is perfect, the Brunel research team said the former method is most likely to underestimate the presence of legionella, while the latter can overestimate the results.

A potential link to global warming is also included in the report, as increases in cases of legionnaires' disease has been noted during higher than normal temperatures or increased levels of rainfall provide more favourable conditions for legionella.

Recommendations made by the report including the re-examination of measures to protect susceptible people in non-healthcare premises.

Greater harmonisation of standards in both healthcare and non-healthcare premises should also be implemented.

The report also recommends the proportion of residents over the age of 65 in a building should be included as a risk factor in routine management strategies.

It also calls for new rapid test methods to be developed and the potential impact of global warming on legionella to be investigated.

Print this page | E-mail this page


Article image Issues of back flushing PIC valves explained

The popularity of Pressure Independent Control (PIC) valves over the last few years has significantly increased and now are the popular choice of many system designers.Full Story...

Article image PFM Awards 2017 finalists announced

Successful entries selected for inclusion in the list of finalists for the PFM Awards 2017 have been announced.Full Story...

Join PFM in an exclusive visit to the RWM exhibition in September

PFM Awards 2017 categories announced

Deadline for Young Leader of the Year and Account Director of the Year 2017