Legionella by PCR
The rapid determination of Legionella bacteria in an outbreak scenario is crucial. In helping our customers protect public health and manage water systems ALS Environmental are able to provide the rapid Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Legionella analysis in addition to our standard culture method.
PCR analysis for Legionella provides clients with a Genomic Unit (GU) count of Legionella in under 24 hours. When this is compared to the traditional culture method reporting time of 12 days (which ALS is able to reduce to 10 days by utilising our MALDI-ToF confirmation) it is clear to see the time savings offered by PCR. It is important to note that the PCR reports are in GU/L and not CFU/L (Colony Forming Units/Litre)
The ALS Environmental PCR method can detect Legionella that live and thrive in Amoebae and Biofilms that the traditional method cannot detect due to the limitations of the culture method, this is known as "viable but none culturable bacteria" (VBNC). Stress factors such as Temperature, Anti-biotics and competing bacteria on the agar can induce a VBNC state.
The method utilised by ALS allows us to identify both Legionella Pneumophila and Legionella Species and can purify 96 samples in a single batch. If a Species is identified using the PCR method then ALS are able to identify over 98% of samples to both genome and species level using our MALDI-ToF confirmation technique, for which we maintain one of the largest libraries of Legionella Species in the world.