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We investigated Legionella contamination in bath water samples, collected from 68 bathing facilities in Japan, by culture, culture with amoebic co-culture, real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR), and real-time qPCR with amoebic co-culture. Using the conventional culture method, Legionella pneumophila was detected in 11 samples (11/68, 16.2%). Contrary to our expectation, the culture method with the amoebic co-culture technique did not increase the detection rate of Legionella (4/68, 5.9%). In contrast, a combination of the amoebic co-culture technique followed by qPCR successfully increased the detection rate (57/68, 83.8%) compared with real-time qPCR alone (46/68, 67.6%). Using real-time qPCR after culture with amoebic co-culture, more than 10-fold higher bacterial numbers were observed in 30 samples (30/68, 44.1%) compared with the same samples without co-culture. On the other hand, higher bacterial numbers were not observed after propagation by amoebae in 32 samples (32/68, 47.1%). Legionella was not detected in the remaining six samples (6/68, 8.8%), irrespective of the method. These results suggest that application of the amoebic co-culture technique prior to real-time qPCR may be useful for the sensitive detection of Legionella from bath water samples. Furthermore, a combination of amoebic co-culture and real-time qPCR might be useful to detect viable and virulent Legionella because their ability to invade and multiply within free-living amoebae is considered to correlate with their pathogenicity for humans. This is the first report evaluating the efficacy of the amoebic co-culture technique for detecting Legionella in bath water samples.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: International journal of environmental research and public health
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Therapy of sitting in a hot steamy room followed by a cool bath or shower.
A species of gram-negative, aerobic bacteria in the genus LEGIONELLA, first isolated in Long Beach, California. Infection is associated with the use of potting SOIL.
The exposure to potentially harmful factors such as trace heavy metals, chemicals, radiation, or toxins due to FOOD CONTAMINATION including DRINKING WATER contamination.
Contamination of bodies of water (such as LAKES; RIVERS; SEAS; and GROUNDWATER.)
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Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) uses the ability of DNA polymerase (enzymes that create DNA molecules by assembling nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA. These enzymes are essential to DNA replication and usually work in pairs to create two ident...