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Integrated Real-Time PCR for Detection and Monitoring of Legionella pneumophila in Water Systems▿

  • Diaraf Farba Yaradou
  • Sylvie Hallier-Soulier
  • Sophie Moreau
  • Florence Poty
  • Yves Hillion
  • Monique Reyrolle
  • Janine André
  • Gabriel Festoc
  • Karine Delabre
  • François Vandenesch
  • Jerome Etienne
  • Sophie Jarraud
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Dec 28, 2006


We evaluated a ready-to-use real-time quantitative Legionella pneumophila PCR assay system by testing 136 hot-water-system samples collected from 55 sites as well as 49 cooling tower samples collected from 20 different sites, in parallel with the standard culture method. The PCR assay was reproducible and suitable for routine quantification of L. pneumophila. An acceptable correlation between PCR and culture results was obtained for sanitary hot-water samples but not for cooling tower samples. We also monitored the same L. pneumophila-contaminated cooling tower for 13 months by analyzing 104 serial samples. The culture and PCR results were extremely variable over time, but the curves were similar. The differences between the PCR and culture results did not change over time and were not affected by regular biocide treatment. This ready-to-use PCR assay for L. pneumophila quantification could permit more timely disinfection of cooling towers.

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