Increase of Legionellosis cases in Europe – Infographics July 2017


Legionnaires' disease in Europe

The number of cases of the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease seems to be rising in Europe according to the July 2017 Legionnaires’ disease surveillance and outbreak report. It concludes that there is a lack of rapid and reliable control measures for water systems to prevent outbreaks.

Preventing outbreaks with efficient monitoring

One highly efficient means of preventing Legionellosis outbreaks is the regular and close monitoring of water systems, which is of particular importance for facilities like hospitals with transplant programs or elderly homes (Tablan O.C., 2003). The accredited standard method for Legionella detection, ISO 1173, is based on cultivating Legionella on plates, which can lead to variable results and takes up to 14 days. One reason for this is that a non-negligible portion of Legionella present in a sample do not grow on agar and is thus not detected by the standard method – the viable but non-culturable fraction of cells. Additionally, competing flora often overgrows agar plates and thereby prevents growth of Legionella. Therefore, the accuracy and reliability of the data acquired with the standard method is neither satisfactory nor sufficient for the evaluation of water systems.

The rqmicro method provides highly precise and fast solutions:

  • Separation, concentration and purification of target cells from any matrix in 1 -2 hours instead of 14 days – Rapid testing method provides immediate process feedback
  • Getting rid of 95% of the competing flora – Delivery of ready-to-use samples for cultivation on agar plates, flow cytometry, PCR, microscopy, etc.
  • Detection of viable but non-culturable bacteria – Minimizing the risk of not only Legionnaires’ disease but also Pontiac fever
  • Automatization & easy implementation – Limited training required

rqmicro’s vision is that consumers worldwide benefit from water and food which is free from microbiological contamination. A crucial step towards realizing that vision is to detect pathogens in a quick and accurate way. Our CellStream instrument and the test kit for Legionella pneumophila SG 1 represent an important step towards the realization of this vision.



Beauté, J. o. (2017, July). LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE IN EUROPE, 2011 TO 2015. Retrieved from Eurosurveillance:  

Tablan O.C., Anderson L.J., Besser R.  (2003). Guidlines For Preventing Health-Care–Associated Pneumonia. Retrieved from Legionella.org 

United States Department of Labor. (2016). Legionnaires’ Disease eTool: Disease Recognition. Retrieved from United States Department of Labor – OSHA:

World Health Organization. (2016, June). Legionellosis. Retrieved from World Health Organization:

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Viable but non-culturable bacteria