11 June 2019

Analytical Method - Rapid PCR Legionella and other bacteria

Analytical Method - Rapid PCR - CSIRO / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

Get a quick UKAS-accredited Legionella sample result within 24 hours using Rapid Legionella PCR test.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Legionella analysis is a rapid technique used to amplify a single copy or a few copies of a segment of DNA. The speed of analysis can be crucial in a suspected outbreak scenario, compared to the 10-12 days required for the traditional culture method. Furthermore the accuracy of analysis lends itself particularly well to identifying the success of control measures across a period of time when trend mapping the results.

With the most significant advancement in testing, SMS Environmental offers a real-time assay for the quantification of Legionella in environmental samples using GeneExtract® for DNA extraction and purification and GeneDisc® Cycler for real-time PCR.

Benefits of the Rapid Legionella PCR test

  • Water hygiene evaluation gives you peace of mind that any Legionella control measures or remedial actions are working
  • Enables rapid Legionella risk assessment and crisis prevention
  • Gives real-time monitoring for viable Legionella bacteria

Our Rapid Legionella PCR service includes:

  • Accredited Legionella test results within 24 hours
  • A reported result turnaround time of 48 hours
  • Tailored packages to meet specific requirements
  • Free sample bottles
  • Electronic reporting format, including SMS, internet or email

Rapid Legionella PCR Analytical process

  • Filtration – through a 0.45 µm polycarbonate membrane
  • DNA extraction – lysis buffer, sonication and heating
  • DNA purification – to isolate DNA
  • PCR analysis – sample is mixed with enzymes to amplify DNA, fluorescence signal intensity is then measured

Technical Specifications

  • Two GeneDiscs are available specifically to detect either Legionella spp. or Legionella pneumophila
  • Detection limit of 167 genomic units/l of sample
  • The quantification limit of 833 genomic units/l of sample. The quantification limit corresponds to the smallest quantity of Legionella pneumophila genomic units required to generate an accurate result
  • Suitable for a range of matrices:
  1. Up to 1 litre for process waters
  2. 10 g for solid samples
  3. Up to 1 litre for environmental waters
  • Sensitivity – greater sensitivity than the culture method
  • Practicality – high solid/turbid samples are easier to analyse

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does the GeneSystems® membrane detect only viable Legionella?

A: The 0.45 µm polycarbonate membrane lets free DNA pass through the membrane and retains fully formed cells. Therefore, only viable Legionella are retained on the membrane.

Q: What is the difference between a CFU and a GU?

A: A CFU is a measurement unit of the ability of a cell to form a colony. A GU is a measure of DNA present in a single cell. GU values are often higher because it detects stressed cells or intra-organelle cells that wouldn’t normally be detected by culture methods.

For more information on our Rapid PCR Sampling for Legionella services please call 0800 138 21 21 or use the form below

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