In situ Legionella monitoring in swimming pools: a case study

Today with the COVID-19 pandemic, the pneumonia caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has unveiled our fragility and vulnerability. Although its transmission by water has not been evidenced, unlike other viruses, it shares the same symptoms (fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing) with the pneumonia acquired when inhaling the Legionella bacterium from aerosols in water systems: Legionnaire’s disease.

When diagnosed in time, its health risk is lower than COVID-19 because most cases get over it by taking antibiotics, and the bacterium does not spread by human contact (no evidence for such to date). However, those infected by it do not go to their GP as quickly, and their GP does not request diagnostic testing, because of its non-specific symptoms. The increase in cases in Europe was 94.4% in 2018 (11,343 recorded cases) compared to 2013.

The immunomagnetic Legionella test (Legipid® Legionella Fast Detection) is a rapid 1 hour-test certified by AOAC-RI. It can be used in Spain according to Standard UNE100030:2017 (Royal Decree RD 865/2003), and Royal Decree RD 742/2013 (self-control of swimming pools).

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