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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
requirements are:
• Temperature above 68° F
• Iron
• L-Cysteine
• 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.


CDC Elite

EMSL Atlanta, GA  Buffalo, NY  Cinnaminson, NJ  Carle Place, NY

Chicago, IL  Dallas, TX  Denver, CO  Houston, TX

Huntington Beach, CA  Indianapolis, IN  Manhattan, NY

Miami, FL  Minneapolis, MN  Mississauga, Ontario  Orlando, FL

Phoenix, AZ  Raleigh, NC

San Leandro, CA, South Pasadena, CA and Wallingford, CT

pass the CDC Legionella Testing Proficiency Program


NYDOH ELAP Legionella Certification:
Buffalo, NY, Carle Place, NY, Cinnaminson, NJ, and Manhattan, NY 


CDC Elite

Wallingford, CT

Carle Place, NY

Cinnaminson, NJ


For Pricing and Information:

Anthony DeRosa
Email: ADeRosa@emsl.com         1-800-220-3675  ext.  2581

Gillian Egiazarov
Email: GEgiazarov@EMSL.com     1-800-220-3675  ext.  2574

Kyle  Spoden
KSpoden@EMSL.com          1-800-220-3675  ext. 3449

Gillian Egiazarov         
GEgiazarov@EMSL.com       1-800-220-3675  ext. 2574

Cheryl Rivadeneyera
CRivadeneyera@EMSL.com   1-888-958-8170 ext. 3463

Jay Rucker
JRucker@EMSL.com             1-888-958-8170 ext. 3422

Callum McMillan
CMcMillan@EMSL.com           1-866-798-1089 ext. 3440

Stefan Wiersgalla
Swiersgalla@EMSL.com         1-866-798-1089 ext. 3430


For technical questions please call:


Christopher Goulah, PhD

Legionella Technical Manager

EMSL Analytical, Inc.

Depew, NY 14043


716-651-0030 ext. 1407


Free Legionella Poster

To order a free Legionella poster
click here


Latest Article

An Overview of Legionella Analyses

By Diane Miskowski, MPH EMSL Analytical, Inc.

The first recognized outbreak of Legionnnaires' Disease occurred in the US at the American Legion Convention in Philadelphia during the summer of 1976. read more...

Additional Resources

For additional information please click the links below.

Legionnaires' Disease
Clinical Microbiology Reviews
Cooling Technology Institute
more resources...

Legionella images courtesy of CDC, Public Health Image Library (PHIL)


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