New York State Department of Health Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP ID# 12050)
CDC ELITE Proficient Laboratory #5001635
American Industrial Hygiene Association Accredited (AIHA Lab ID# 183867)
Assured Bio Labs is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ELITE (Environmental Legionella Isolation Techniques Evaluation) Program for Legionella Analysis. We are also one of the first Labs to be Accredited for the new Legionella Field of Testing by the American Industrial Hygiene Association Laboratory Accreditation Program, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC) and the New York Department of Health Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (NYS DOH ELAP). Legionella contamination in potable water and cooling towers is a serious issue that threatens the health of occupants in commercial buildings and medical facilities. The recent outbreak in New York City, which has resulted in twelve deaths from Legionnaires Disease out of 199 reported cases, punctuates the Legionella hazard, which has been and will continue to be a recurring threat to the public. Vigilant testing allows facility managers to correct problems quickly, thereby mitigating risk to building occupants and the public. The cost of litigation and health care associated with infection is orders of magnitude greater than preventive testing. We are experts in testing and Dr. Sobek, our lab director, is a microbial contamination expert and experienced in Legionella bacteria investigations. Accordingly, our clients receive the highest quality service backed by leading edge science.
Our team understands the severity of this issue and is prepared to help you immediately. Just fill out and submit the form on this page. We provide the sterile sample bottles with instructions. In a hurry? If you contact us before 4:30 p.m. EST we will ship your bottles for next business day by Fedex. We also have a team member ready to respond evenings and weekends to answer questions. A professional will even talk you through the protocol, just ask. Over the years we have dedicated more resources to Legionella testing, including developing new technology to increase throughput of samples. Our throughput capability allows clients to respond quickly to their customers needs. We offer same day turnaround using our advanced DNA detection and quantification methods (accredited through AIHA-LAP, LLC). We also offer all traditional culture methods and serotyping to meet the New York City requirements. Our goal is to detect Legionella bacteria at the source swiftly, therefore, empowering our clients to implement corrective action measures to ensure occupants and the general public are safe from infection.
Assured Bio Labs offers two types of analysis for the isolation of Legionella bacteria from the environment.
The laboratory operates under ISO 11731 for Legionella isolation from water sources. We maintain CDC ELITE Proficiency, AIHA-LAP, LLC accreditation (Lab ID# 183867), and New York State Department of Health Environmental Laboratory Approval Program ELAP ID# 12050. Traditional culture analysis has a turnaround time of 7-14 days.
Each sample that is processed by Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) utilizes two assays for the identification of Legionella bacteria in environmental samples. DNA analysis is 99.9% accurate. The two assays available will tell you whether any species of Legionella is present, whether it is Legionella pneumophila, and give you a concentration of both. ISO 11731 is followed through filtration, since ISO 11731 does not address DNA analysis, post filtration steps follow U.S. E.P.A DNA extraction and quantification recommendations. However all steps of the process maintain quality measures under ISO 17025 and AIHA accreditation standards. DNA testing is fast and highly accurate. Standard turnaround time upon sample receipt is 2-3 business day, but same day results are typically available for an extra fee, please call or e-mail the lab when sending expedited samples.
If your DNA analysis comes back with a species of Legionella not identified as pneumophila, Assured Bio Labs can sequence your results and identify what species is present. We can also determine species serotype if requested.
“I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your prompt response to our needs at my location. Your knowledge, expertise and comprehensive assessment was well appreciated by me and my team.”
–Michael S., One of our many satisfied clients
Legionella and Legionnaire’s Disease Information
A new and deadly disease emerged late last century in the in the United States. The outbreak occurred in the summer of 1976 as a severe pneumonia that caused the deaths of several American Legion members attending a convention in Philadelphia at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. After months of intensive investigations they found an unknown gram-negative rod bacterium to be the cause of the disease. The biological agent of disease was found to be transmitted through the air conditioning ducts. Later, the infective agent was named Legionella after its initial victims. Legionella is transmitted by inhalation of infectious particles. The disease caused by Legionella is often referred to as Legionnaires Disease or Legionellosis. Typical symptoms include: fever, lethargy, disorientation, severe pneumonia.
Most epidemics occur in late summer and autumn where it proliferates in water reservoirs during these warm months. Elderly persons, heavy smokers, and the immunocompromised are at a higher risk of becoming infected because they have decreased immunity and decreased pulmonary function. Approximately 25% of cases are acquired in hospitals. Person to person or animal cases have not been found.
Legionella is found worldwide and is commonly present in natural bodies of water (lake and streams) as well in air conditioning cooling towers and condensers and in water systems (hot tubs). It is found in nosocomial settings like nebulizers filled with tap water. Legionella can survive in moist environments for a long time at high temperatures and in the presence of disinfectants such as chlorine. Legionella bacteria can also survive in biofilms that develop in the pipes of water systems.
Legionnaires’ Disease is difficult to document. Cases steadily rose during the last decade, with 1,200 to 2,200 cases annually. The CDC estimates that between 10,000 and 20,000 cases of Legionnaires’ disease occur each year in the U.S.
Because many Legionella testing situations are unique, please call the lab to discuss the best sample collection process with one of our scientists.
Want to find out more about Legionella testing. Call 1-866-547-1727 to talk to one of our experts or e-mail us at email@example.com
Water Sample Collection
The CDC recommends at least 250 ml of non-potable water or 1 liter of potable water be sent in for analysis. Samples should be insulated to protect from extreme temperatures and sent overnight to the laboratory.
Air Sample Collection
Air monitoring is now available for Legionella bacteria detection using the state-of-the-art M-TRAP® air sampling cassette. It works with standard pumps at a sampling rate of 15 liters per minute for at least 10 minutes, longer sampling times up to 24 hours, will not overload the cassette. We also offer passive WindTrap™ samplers that can be placed in strategic places near cooling towers to determine if Legionella is becoming aerosolized and spreading in the vicinity of your building. Read more about CDC/NIOSH testing of the M-TRAP for Legionella bacteria here: Legionella Efficacy Testing with M-TRAP Cassette or learn how to use the M-TRAP here:M-TRAP Cassette Call and talk to one of our specialists if you are interested in air sampling. We will be glad to assist you in order to meet your clients needs.
OSHA Guidelines for Legionella Contamination
Please follow the link below for the OSHA guidelines. Remember that these numbers are only suggested guidelines for healthy individuals not immunocompromised individuals, and the goal is zero tolerance for Legionella in a water source.