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Legionella Analyses

Eurofins EnvironeX performs analyses to identify and quantify Legionella pneumophila bacteria and its serotypes. Our laboratories are accredited domain 606 by the MDDEFP. Our technicians and microbiologists have solid experience in assessing legionella.

General Information on Legionellosis

Legionella type bacteria, in its natural state, is present in fresh water (lakes and rivers), stagnant water as well as moist soil, sediment, sludge and compost. In environments where temperatures are between 25ºC and 45ºC, other conditions are equally favourable to the development of Legionella, such as stagnant water, slime, corrosion, limescale and the presence of more or less porous surfaces (plastics, rubber, silicone).

Legionellosis is an acute respiratory disease ranging from benign infections to fatal pneumonia. It is contracted by inhaling fine droplets of water contaminated with Legionella bacteria. The pneumophila type is responsible for 90% of legionellosis cases. It appears under two distinct clinical forms:

  • Pontiac Fever: a benign infection that lasts 2 to 5 days and has flu—like symptoms Legionnaire’s Disease : a rare infection with major complications such as respiratory and/or kidney failure.

  • Considered the most serious, it can be deadly in 15% of cases. However, for patients already at risk, the death rate can increase to 30%.

If conditions favourable to its development are present, Legionella can take over certain artificial water settings, e.g.:

  • cooling towers

  • evaporative condensers

  • sanitary hot water systems

  • domestic hot water (e.g. shower heads)

  • spas (whirlpool baths, jacuzzis)

  • water coolers or decorative fountains

  • humidifiers

  • air conditioners

Prevention of Legionellosis

The owners of building water systems are required to maintain their cooling towers with the implementation of a preventive maintenance program developed by a member of a professional organization. They have to maintain records of verifications and results of analyses and transfer the information to the “Régie du bâtiment du Québec” (RBQ) to develop a registry of all cooling towers in Quebec province.

Eurofins EnvironeX was the first laboratory in Quebec to be accredited for Domain 606—Legionella sp bacteria count.