Legionella can be difficult to isolate. Several steps are required to culture Legionella from environmental sources. Steps include the concentration of the bacteria, re-suspension, selective pre-treatments, and the use of complex media. Using a suitable isolation protocol is critical for determining whether Legionella is present in a sample.
The UPHL Environmental Water Microbiology Section is a member of the CDC's ELITE Program opens in a new tab.
The ELITE Program provides a way for UPHL to test our Legionella isolation techniques against standardized samples. We receive a panel of lyophilized test samples twice each year. Test samples are divided between Legionella positive or negative and may be mixed with other organisms commonly found in water. The test samples are reconstituted and processed according to our protocols. We report our results directly to the CDC ELITE Program.
Upon successful identification of Legionella from the test samples, we receive a certificate of proficiency and are listed among the other ELITE Members opens in a new tab. UPHL has been a member of the ELITE Program since 2010.