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30th July 2021  Content supplied by: IDEXX Laboratories Inc

Study Finds Improved Method for Prevention and Control of Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreaks

IDEXX has welcomed the publication of a study1 carried out by the Public Health Laboratory of L'Hospitalet in Barcelona, Spain, which compared the IDEXX Legiolert® test with the standard method for detection and enumeration of Legionella (ISO 11731).

Comparing the methods in both potable and non-potable water samples according to the rigorous ISO 17994 protocol, the study found that Legiolert detected more positive results than ISO 11731 and was statistically more sensitive for Legionella pneumophila.

Additionally, Legiolert was compared to ISO 11731 for the detection of all Legionella species, and while ISO 17994 results demonstrate the two methods to be statistically equivalent, Legiolert was found to be more sensitive.

The study found that all Legiolert results were confirmed to be Legionella pneumophila, indicating a specificity of 100% and no false positives. The authors of the study also noted the procedural advantages of Legiolert, and suggest that it is an easier-to-use test that could be performed more frequently than the standard ISO 11731 method.

Legiolert uses bacterial enzyme detection technology to identify and enumerate Legionella pneumophila, the principal cause of Legionnaires' disease. This latest study is notable because it shows that despite being specific to Legionella pneumophila, Legiolert even outperforms ISO 11731 when other Legionella species results are included. 

These results convinced the study authors to utilize Legiolert instead of the traditional plate method whenever possible in order to minimize the risk of Legionnaires´ disease in their community.


1. Checa, J., Carbonell, I., Manero, N., & Marti, I. (2021) Comparative study of Legiolert with ISO 11731-1998 standard method-conclusions from a Public Health Laboratory. Journal of Microbiological Methods. 

For more details, please visit: IDEXX water testing solutions or you can use the 'Request Information' button provided below. 

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Date Published: 30th July 2021

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