Legionella Testing / Biosafety Training

Viable but Non-Culturable Pathogenic Legionella Not Detected by the Culture Method

Viable but Non-Culturable Pathogenic Legionella Not Detected by the Culture Method

  Viable pathogenic legionella that do not grow on BCYE agar can be identified using a monoclonal fluorescent antibody-modified, direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) test first developed by the CDC Special Pathogens Laboratory. GTS Legionella Water Testing Laboratory uses this DFA test to quantitate numbers of intact, viable legionella in water samples. Below are some peer reviewed journal articles that document the existence of viable but non-culturable pathogens that can cause disease: 

• Oliver, J.D. The Viable but Nonculturable State for Bacteria: Status Update Microbe April 2016; 11(4): 159-164

• Kirschner, A.K.T. Determination of viable legionellae in engineered water systems: Do we find what we are looking for? Water Research January 2016; 93:276-288

• Sboui, E et al. Characterisation of electrochemical immunosensor for detection of viable not-culturable forms of Legionella pneumophila in water samples. Chemical Papers 2015; 69(11):1402-1410

• Inoue, H et al. Molecular characterization of viable Legionella spp. in cooling tower water samples by combined use of ethidium monoazide and PCR. Microbes Environ. 2015; Advanced View, January 16

• Fields, BS et al. Legionella and Legionnaires' Disease: 25 years of investigation. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 2002; 15:506-526

• Bartram J et al. Legionella and the prevention of legionellosis. Geneva: World Health Organization: 2007

• Parthuisot, N et al. Total and viable Legionella pneumophila cells in hot and natural waters as measured by immunofluorescence-based assays and solid phase cytometry. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2011; 77:6225-6232