Legionella Tests Question: Hi, I am a student working on an environmental research project on Legionella tests. I’m considering to have some water sample tested for Legionella species especially Legionella pneumophila. From your experience, what is the chance of getting a positive result for the Legionella tests? How much does the tests cost, for both PCR and culturable methods?
Thank you for your attention.
Answer: Legionella species are ubiquitous in natural and artificial water environments worldwide. They survive in a wide range of environmental conditions. Chances of getting positiveresults for Legionella tests from water depends on the following:
- The Source of water. Legionella species thrive at temperatures between 20 °C and 50 °C. Therefore, the bacteria are rarely found in municipal water supplies. They tend to colonize warm water systems and point-of-use devices, particularly hot-water systems.
- Isolation method. Legionella species are usually a very minor component of the total bacterial population in environmental samples and are rarely present in high numbers. Thus, it’s possible to get negative Legionella tests results if the bacteria in the sample were not concentrated prior to analysis.
- Concentration: Legionella may be present in concentrations too low to be detected using culture methods.
The cost of Legionella tests depends on the level of identification required. There are many labs that carry out Legionella tests but some if not most are not accredited. To minimize false-positive results for Legionella tests, it’s important to use a qualified accredited laboratory.
Mold & Bacteria Consulting Laboratories (MBL) performs several Legionella tests every year. Currently we use cultural methods for Legionella identification. We’re accredited by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) to ISO/IEC 17025:2005. MBL is also certified in the analysis of Legionella bacteria by the prestigious Environmental Legionella Isolation Techniques Evaluation (ELITE) program of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For pricing please call 604-435-6555 in British Columbia or 905-290-9101 in Ontario.