Rapid quantification method for Legionella pneumophila in surface water
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World-wide legionellosis outbreaks caused by evaporative cooling systems have shown that there is a need for rapid screening methods for Legionella pneumophila in water. Antibody-based methods for the quantification of L. pneumophila are rapid, non-laborious, and relatively cheap but not sensitive enough for establishment as a screening method for surface and drinking water. Therefore, preconcentration methods have to be applied in advance to reach the needed sensitivity. In a basic test, monolithic adsorption filtration (MAF) was used as primary preconcentration method that adsorbs L. pneumophila with high efficiency. Ten-liter water samples were concentrated in 10 min and further reduced to 1 mL by centrifugal ultrafiltration (CeUF). The quantification of L. pneumophila strains belonging to the monoclonal subtype Bellingham was performed via flow-based chemiluminescence sandwich microarray immunoassays (CL-SMIA) in 36 min. The whole analysis process takes 90 min. A polyclonal antibody (pAb) against L. pneumophila serogroup 1–12 and a monoclonal antibody (mAb) against L. pneumophila SG 1 strain Bellingham were immobilized on a microarray chip. Without preconcentration, the detection limit was 4.0 × 103 and 2.8 × 103 CFU/mL determined by pAb and mAb 10/6, respectively. For samples processed by MAF-CeUF prior to SMIA detection, the limit of detection (LOD) could be decreased to 8.7 CFU/mL and 0.39 CFU/mL, respectively. A recovery of 99.8 ± 15.9 % was achieved for concentrations between 1–1000 CFU/mL. The established combined analytical method is sensitive for rapid screening of surface and drinking water to allow fast hygiene control of L. pneumophila.
KeywordsLegionella pneumophila Microarray-based immunoassay Preconcentration of bacteria Monolith Surface water
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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