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Minerva Biolabs offers a series of water screening assays, specifically designed for quantitative detection of common water pathogens such as Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli: the AquaScreen® qPCR Detection kits.
The Legionella species, particularly Legionella pneumophila, are clinically relevant because they can cause legionellosis or Legionnaires’ disease in humans. The gram-negative Legionella bacteria thrive in warm, stagnant water but can survive in water ecosystems at a wide range of temperatures (19 ° C to 50 °C), pH and dissolved oxygen levels. Legionella pneumophila has been clearly associated with outbreaks stemming from air-conditioning cooling towers, whirlpools, spas and showers. Other potential sources of contaminations include potable water systems, humidifiers, faucets and medical equipment such as respiratory machines and in general any source of water aerosols. In fact, transmission to humans occurs then via Legionella-containing aerosols which, once inhaled, can easily reach the lungs.
Besides Legionella, other microbial contaminants of water (including drinking water) like P. aeruginosa and E. coli might also play a role in waterborne illnesses and represent a concern for public health.
Regular testing of potential contamination sites contribute to prevent disease outbreaks. Importantly, the number and types of sites that should be tested must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Due to the diversity of plumbing and mechanical systems in buildings, more than one sample from a suspect source may be required for analysis.