Toolkit for Controlling Legionella in Common Sources of Exposure

Below are three takeaways for Legionella testing from the CDC’s Legionella Control Toolkit that you need to know!

1. CDC released recommendations for routine monitoring in January 2021.

The CDC has changed their position on routine monitoring from “no recommendations” to providing recomendations on routine monitoring for Legionella. In Module 6 and pages F1-F5, the CDC lists objectives for routine and nonroutine testing, including: 

  • Establishing a baseline for measurement for performance indicators
  • Validating a WMP
  • Evaluating potential growth and transmission sources
  • Confirming success or failure of remedial treatment
  • Investigating potential sources of environmental  exposure for person with disease

2. CDC supports 250 mL sample volume. 

The volume of water you collect may depend on the source type (potable vs. non-potable) or
condition (detectable disinfectant residual vs. visible debris and no detectable disinfectant
residual). Typically, a 250 mL sample is sufficient for routine testing. Larger sample volumes
and other sample types, such as swabs or ice, may provide additional information for at-risk facilities.

3. CDC requirements for laboratories. 

From the CDC to ASHRAE Guideline 12 to state regulations, support for the usefulness and implementation of proactive and routine monitoring for Legionella is trending. Special  Pathogens Laboratory meets and exceeds the CDC requirements for laboratories that perform Legionella testing:

  • Accreditation  by a regional, national, or international accrediting body to a recognized standard for Legionella test methods
  • Capability of retaining Legionella isolates from samples for additional characterization 
  • Capacity to perform additional characterization as needed

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