How We Operate:
Since 1981 we have quantitatively tested thousands of samples for legionella from water-containing mechanical equipment and plumbing lines. Contact us to receive our test agreement, chain of custody form, and sampling instructions for legionella bacteria testing.
We ship sterile, 120 ml sample bottles and labels by USPS Priority Mail. Turnaround time is usually three business days. We email your test reports, interpretation of test results, and industry-suggested legionella decontamination methods if needed.
Why Test for Legionella?
Legionella testing validates whether your legionella control procedures are working.
GTS Legionella Test Method:
We use the gold standard quantitative direct fluorescent monoclonal antibody (DFA) test for 14 serogroups of Legionella pneumophila and 15 other Legionella species associated with human disease.
We use a modification of the original DFA method published by the CDC in 1978 by William B. Cherry. Our test method was published in 1985. Water Research Vol. 19, No. 7, pp.839-848, 1985 - except for a change to more specific monoclonal antibody DFA reagents.
Why We Don't Use the Culture Method:
EPA declined to add Legionella tests to the water testing laboratory certification program in the early 1980s.
It is becoming clear that the culture method is not reliable for routine cooling tower testing. Current and Emerging Legionella Diagnostics for Laboratory and Outbreak Investigations - Clin. Microbiol. Rev. January 2015 vol. 28 no. 1 95-133.
Legionella on BCYE agar media are often overgrown or inhibited by competing microbial flora that mask the presence of legionella colonies, particularly with water samples taken from warm water-containing mechanical equipment exposed to the environment such as fountains, cooling towers, and saunas.
Culture on BCYE agar with or without supplements, antimicrobial agents, water sample heat or acid treatment lacks the sensitivity of our quantitative DFA test.
Legionnaires' Disease Current Information:
There are no federal regulations specifying permissible numbers of legionella in water systems.
When numbers of legionella in a water sample are significant, we suggest decontamination of water systems using industry-standard procedures such as the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Guidelines as modified by the Cooling Technology Institute. ASHRAE and EPA have also published decontamination procedures.