Second Nature Care Blog

 Efficiently Detecting Legionnaire's Disease - I.V. Ozone

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 6, 2018 5:00:00 AM / by Winter Ninivaggi


Chip detects bacteria faster than ever before. 

What Is Legionnaires' Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease, or Legionellosis, is a severe infection caused by Legionella species, primarily L. pneumophila. In fact, L. pneumophila is responsible for 90% of infections. The disease typically presents as pneumonia and symptoms may include a high fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, headaches, and diarrhea. (

The incubation period of Legionnaires' disease is from two to ten days; this is the time it takes before symptoms of the illness appear after being exposed to the bacteria. For several days, the patient may feel tired and weak. Most patients who are admitted to the hospital develop a high fever, often greater than 39.5°C (103°F). A cough can be the first sign of a lung infection. The cough may be sufficiently severe to cause sputum production (coughed up mucous). Gastrointestinal stomach symptoms are common with diarrhea being the most distinctive symptom. Many patients have nausea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort. Other common symptoms include: headaches, muscle aches, chest pain and shortness of breath. ( 

Water in rooftop cooling towers of a building's air conditioning symptom becomes infected with Legionella bacteria. This can cause people within the building to get potentially fatal Legionnaire's disease.This means it is important to check water for the bacteria regularly.

Typically checking for Legionella involves putting a water sample in a petri dish, waiting 10-14 days and seeing if any cultures grow. Populations of Legionella can reach outbreak levels in as little as a week making this method of testing less efficient. If an outbreak has already occurred its source needs to be ascertained as quickly as possible.

For this reason, the LegioTyper chip was born. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich developed the inexpensive single use device containing 20 different antibodies. Each one of those binds with a different subtype of Legionella pneumophila, which is the species of Legionella responsible for 80 percent of all infections. If any of those subtypes are present in the water sample, the chip will detect their presence within a claimed 34 minutes – chemicals such as luminol and hydrogen peroxide are used to make them show up by causing a chemiluminescence reaction.

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Coxworth, B. (2018, March 23). Chip detects Legionnaires' bacteria in minutes, not days. Retrieved April 04, 2018, from Subscribers&utm_campaign=2900462e22-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-2900462e22-76698122

Winter Ninivaggi

Written by Winter Ninivaggi

Isadora Guggenheim, ND, RN, MS, CNS LMT, owner of Second Nature Naturopathic Care, LLC
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