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12th August 2019  Content supplied by: IDEXX Laboratories Inc

Legiolert® Test for Legionella pneumophila Wins Award at 2019 Water Innovation Europe Conference

IDEXX, the global experts in water microbiology, have announced that Legiolert, the IDEXX culture test for enumeration of Legionella pneumophila in water, has won Water Europe's coveted 2019 Water Innovation Award in the Water Technology Infrastructure category. The prize recognises "innovative breakthrough solutions or technologies" that further Water Europe's vision of a future-proof model for a European water-smart society.

The Legiolert test is a “next generation” culture test that detects the pathogen responsible for more than 97% of all Legionnaires’ disease cases across Europe. The disease is fatal in 1 of 10 patients diagnosed. Reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Europe increased 60% between 2013 and 2017.1 However, studies have shown that 90% of cases can be avoided through better water management.2 Accurate detection and quantification of Legionella pneumophila in water is essential for reducing this deadly disease in Europe.

Preventing Legionnaires’ disease requires finding and controlling Legionella pneumophila in building water systems, cooling towers, and even distribution water, to reduce the chance of the bacteria multiplying and causing infection when vulnerable people breathe in air carrying the bacteria. The Legiolert test is faster, easier to use, and more accurate than traditional testing methods. Using this innovative test increases the odds of detecting the pathogen before it causes disease, so that building owners can take the required steps and protect public health.

The Water Technology & Infrastructure prize was announced on June 13 before more than 200 water and energy experts attending the Water Innovation Europe 2019 conference in Brussels.

Water Innovation Award winners are considered best practice in their field or application and are chosen based on their impact and replicability as well as their technological innovation. The Legiolert test has already been used in private laboratories, government laboratories, and water utilities including in Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Canada, the U.S. and in other countries around the world. An ISO 13843 study, five peer-reviewed and published articles on Legiolert performance, and ISO 17025 accreditation options for the method are all available.

Legiolert was launched in Europe by IDEXX in 2017 and accurately and sensitively quantifies Legionella pneumophila in water, providing a confirmed result in 7 days, versus up to 14 days with spread-plate culture methods.

  1. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Surveillance Report: Annual Epidemiological Report for 2017: Legionnaires’ Disease. Stockholm, Sweden: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control; 2019. www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/portal/files/documents/AER_for_2017-Legionnaires-disease_0.pdf. Published January 2019. Accessed April 19, 2019.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vital signs, Legionnaires’ Disease. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2016. www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/pdf/2016-06-vitalsigns.pdf. Published June 2016. Accessed June 21, 2019


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Date Published: 12th August 2019

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