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Water 2018, 10(8), 1012;

Legionella Detection in Environmental Samples as an Example for Successful Implementation of qPCR

Institute of Hygiene, Microbiology and Environmental Medicine, Medical University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 June 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 31 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
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Waterborne diseases are a serious threat because of their ability to infect a high number of individuals in a short time span, such as during outbreaks of Legionellosis. This significantly highlights the need for the rapid detection and quantification of bacteria in environmental water samples. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) for the detection of Legionellapneumophila (L. pneumophila) in environmental water samples and comparison of standard culture methods for Legionella detection with qPCR. Our study reached a negative predictive value (NPV) for L. pneumophila of 80.7% and for L. pneumophila serogroup 1 (sg1) the calculated NPV was 87.0%. The positive predictive value (PPV) for L. pneumophila was 53.9% and for L. pneumophila sg1 PPV was 21.4%. Results showed a correlation between qPCR and culture with an R2 value of 0.8973 for L. pneumophila, whereas no correlation was observed for the detection of L. pneumophila sg1. In our study, qPCR proved useful for the identification of L. pneumophila negative samples. However, despite the obvious benefits (sample handling, rapid generation of results), qPCR needs to be improved regarding the PPV before it can replace culture in water quality assessment. View Full-Text
Keywords: Legionella; qPCR; culture; cooling towers; L. pneumophila; drinking water Legionella; qPCR; culture; cooling towers; L. pneumophila; drinking water

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Toplitsch, D.; Platzer, S.; Pfeifer, B.; Hautz, J.; Mascher, F.; Kittinger, C. Legionella Detection in Environmental Samples as an Example for Successful Implementation of qPCR. Water 2018, 10, 1012.

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