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New rapid Legionella testing technology trialled by Landsec

Property developer trials new Canadian technology which promises results in 45 minutes

Property developer Landsec is trialling Legionella testing technology that promises to give onsite results within 45 minutes.

The firm is using the Spartan Cube technology from Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience, which claims highly accurate quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) Legionella results in 45 minutes, enabling operators to take corrective action within hours instead of days or weeks. This test, if approved, could replace the conventional process of sending samples away to laboratories, speeding up decisions and thus reducing potential downtime, the manufacturer notes.

Landsec is the first company to trial Spartan’s technology in the UK. Spartan’s test is widely used in North America by property owners and operators. In addition, it is validated according to ISO 12869:2012.

There remain many high-profile Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks in the UK each year, leading to hospitalisation and fatalities.

Spartan notes that traditional Legionella testing by bacterial culture takes 10-14 days to provide results, yet Legionella can grow to outbreak levels in as few as 7 days.

The firm says its test uses a Nobel-Prize winning chemistry called quantitative qPCR)commonly used for medical diagnostics, because of its highly-improved accuracy compared to traditional testing methods.

Tim Peacock, innovation director at Landsec said: “Landsec is always looking for innovative solutions that can make our buildings and their occupants safer. We look forward to working with Spartan to bring this technology to the UK and investigating methods to further reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ outbreaks in our buildings.”

Paul Lem, CEO of Spartan Bioscience added: “Landsec is one of the leading property management companies in the UK and we are excited to have them onboard with this trial. With support from businesses like Landsec, we hope to eventually eradicate Legionnaires’ outbreaks around the world.”

Its on-site Legionella DNA test consists of a coffee-cup-sized, portable DNA analyser called the Spartan Cube and a single-use disposable test cartridge.

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