What is Legionella?
The Legionella organism is a Gram negative, rod shaped bacterium that can
cause pneumonia (Legionnaires’ disease) or a flu-like illness (Pontiac fever).
It was first identified and recognized as causing disease during the outbreak
that occurred in conjunction with the American Legion Convention in
Philadelphia in 1976. There are over 50 species of Legionella and 18 of those
can cause disease. It is thought that the species Legionella pneumophila
causes most of the infections.
Legionella is a fastidious organism, meaning it has specific growth requirements
that need to be met in order for it to survive and grow. Some of these growth
• Temperature above 68° F
• Biofilm (particularly protozoans)
Unlike some other bacteria, it can survive at lower temperatures (even below
freezing), at lower dissolved oxygen levels and is somewhat resistant to
chlorine disinfection. Certain plastics and organics can provide nutrients
for growth. These attributes make our modern day plumbing systems a good
habitat for the organism.
NYDOH ELAP Legionella Interim Certification:
Buffalo, NY, Carle Place, NY, Cinnaminson, NJ, and Manhattan, NY
EMSL Atlanta, GA Boston, MA Buffalo, NY Cinnaminson, NJ Carle Place, NY
Chicago, IL Denver, CO Houston, TX Indianapolis, IN Manhattan, NY
Mississauga, Ontario Orlando, FL Phoenix, AZ Raleigh, NC
San Leandro, CA, South Pasadena, CA and Wallingford, CT
pass the CDC Legionella Testing Proficiency Program
Pricing and Information:
1-800-220-3675, Ext 2574
Christopher Goulah, Ph.D.
Legionella Technical Manager
(716) 651-0030, Ext 1407
or write to:
EMSL Analytical, Inc.
200 Route 130 North
Cinnaminson, NJ 08077