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Appl Environ Microbiol. May 1995; 61(5): 1805–1809.
PMCID: PMC167444

Precision and accuracy of recovery of Legionella pneumophila from seeded tap water by filtration and centrifugation.


Determination of the concentration of Legionella pneumophila in environmental water sites may be useful for the prediction of the risk of a particular site's causing Legionnaires' disease as well as for experimental studies of environmental growth or remediation. The precision and accuracy of recovery of two different L. pneumophila strains from seeded tap water samples were studied, with either filtration or centrifugation used to concentrate the bacteria. L. pneumophila grown on BCYE alpha agar or in Acanthamoeba castellanii was used to seed sterile tap water. Water samples were then either filtered (0.2-microns pore size) or centrifuged. An average of 53% (95% confidence interval [CI], 47 to 58%; n = 45) of the seeded L. pneumophila organisms were recovered by filtration with flat polycarbonate membranes. This recovery was significantly higher (P < 0.01) than that obtained by filtration with cast membranes (mean, 13%; 95% CI, 11 to 38%; n = 4) or by centrifugation at 3,800 x g for 30 min (mean, 14%; 95% CI, 2 to 25%; n = 9) or at 8,150 x g for 15 min (mean, 32%; 95% CI, 28 to 36%; n = 19). Recovery of L. pneumophila was not significantly different whether the bacteria were grown on plates or in amoebae. Use of a selective medium did not decrease the recovery efficiency, but preplating acid treatment of specimens caused an approximately 30% bacterial loss.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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Selected References

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