Future technology made in Germany: Legionella prevention through innovative fast-track test
inventicsDx launches iDx LegioTest 1.0, the first fast-track test that can be used to test process water for legionella independently of the laboratory surrounding. The new system delivers accurate, utilizable results in less than one hour.
Berlin, 15th September 2021
Legionella as a parameter for water quality
Legionella are pathogenic microorganisms that can cause Pontiac fever or Legionnaires’ disease, a severe pneumonia in humans. People with a weakened immune system are particularly susceptible, with Legionnaires’ disease even causing death in 5-10% of cases2. Infection with Legionella usually occurs through inhalation of pathogen-containing aerosols through domestic/public water systems or industrial facilities. Legionella is therefore a parameter for assessing the hygienic quality of both drinking and process water. Besides the German Drinking Water Regulation, the water quality for evaporative cooling systems, cooling towers and wet separators is also regulated by law and subject to regular monitoring3.
iDx LegioTest 1.0 for fast and precise risk assessment of process water
With the iDx LegioTest 1.0, a rapid and precise analysis of Legionella in process water can be performed by means of a novel digital diagnostic platform. Using a newly developed microfluidics-based system, a detection limit of 9,500 CFU/100ml of Legionella is possible. Detection of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, the most common pathogenic subtype of the Legionella family, is performed by ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and excludes cross-reactions with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Serratia marcescens, Acinetobacter haemolyticus and Escherichia coli. Preparation (15 minutes) and testing in the iDx Benchtop Reader (30 minutes) can be performed without trained laboratory personnel or laboratory equipment.
“We offer companies a useful supplement to the legally required laboratory tests, which they can use to eliminate possible contamination in good time,” explains CEO Lutz J. Voelker. At the end of the year, a second test system will be available, the iDx Legio 100 PW, which is sensitive enough to enable fast track legionella testing of drinking water. The spread of bacteria in drinking water, for example in hospitals and retirement homes, but also showers in hotels and sports facilities, is well documented and repeatedly found in catchy headlines. This is where the requirements of the new EU Drinking Water Directive2 , which extends regular monitoring to the point of withdrawal at the tap, i.e. to domestic installations, become a challenge for many institutions and public facilities. A laboratory-independent rapid test is a great relief for these operators in particular.
 Infektionsepidemiologisches Jahrbuch meldepflichtiger Krankheiten für 2019. 2019:156-162. Robert-Koch-Institut. https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/Infekt/Jahrbuch/Jahrbuch_2019.pdf?__blob=publicationFile. Accessed 30th August 2021
 Epidemiologisches Bulletin. 5. September 2019, Nr. 36. Robert-Koch-Institut. https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/Infekt/EpidBull/Archiv/2019/Ausgaben/36_19.pdf?__blob=publicationFile. Accessed 30th August 2021
 Zweiundvierzigste Verordnung zur Durchführung des Bundes-Immissionsschutzgesetzes (Verordnung über Verdunstungskühlanlagen, Kühltürme und Nassabscheider – 42. BImSchV). 12.07.2017. Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bimschv_42/BJNR237900017.html. Accessed 30th August 2021