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New Legionella Species Has Been Identified

Legionella clemsonensis recently discovered through whole genome sequencing.


Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations

Recently, students at Clemson University identified a new species of the bacteria Legionella, named Legionella clemsonensis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked with the students to identify the species that originated from a patient in Ohio. According to the CDC, Legionella clemsonensis was analyzed by whole genome sequencing and declared not to be Legionella pneumophila, the most common pathogen in the group. Another differing factor was that when the strain of bacteria was hit with ultraviolent light, it fluoresced green, unlike other Legionella strains that fluoresce blue, red or yellow.

Legionella is a type of bacteria that is commonly found in the biofilm of water, occurring naturally in the environment or in manmade environments. Past outbreaks have been associated with cooling towers, hot tubs, hot water tanks, plumbing systems and decorative fountains. When aerosolized water containing Legionella is inhaled or aspirated, it can cause a form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease.

“It is wonderful news that by using 21st century technology such as whole genome sequencing, we can now identify new species more rapidly than relying on older technologies such as biochemical testing or Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis which lack the discriminatory power,” said Diane Miskowski, MPH, National Legionella Program Manager at EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers Legionella testing services and sampling supplies at its 15 CDC ELITE certified Legionella laboratories throughout North America. EMSL has also earned New York State Department of Health Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NYSDOH ELAP) certification for Legionella testing at four of their laboratory locations. In addition their lab in Cinnaminson, New Jersey offers whole genome sequencing as well as sequence-based typing to further discriminate between Legionella species and strains.

To learn more about Legionella and our testing services, please visit www.LegionellaTesting.com. For service questions, please contact EMSL’s Diane Miskowski, MPH, for expert information at 1-800-220-3675 extension 2528.

To view a complete list of EMSL’s laboratory locations, accreditations and capabilities, please visit www.EMSL.com. For more information about EMSL’s testing services, please email  info@EMSL.com  or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


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 legionella
 CDC ELITE
 NYS DOH ELAP
 whole genome sequencing
 legionella clemsonensis


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