After a two-year hiatus, the APIC conference returned in 2022, and with it a renewed interest in infection prevention. The COVID-19 pandemic served as a highlight in the importance of preventing the spread of infectious diseases, particularly in the healthcare setting. Alongside COVID-19, hospitals and other healthcare facilities found themselves with new challenges, including the uptick in Legionnaires’ Disease outbreaks.
While at APIC, a common concern that was expressed by the attendees we spoke to were outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease in their area, be it in their own facility or a neighboring one. This concern is not anecdotal, as talked about in a previous post, and that there is evidence to support that Legionnaires’ Disease outbreaks are on the rise. Thankfully, here at EST we provide fast, viable Legionella testing via vPCR technology for the prevention of Legionnaires’ Disease or in an outbreak situation.
EST was extremely fortunate to have been able to provide uninterrupted environmental microbiology testing for Legionella and other waterborne pathogens to our customers in the past two years. During that time, EST’s research team worked on developing a rapid molecular testing option, vPCR. While traditional qPCR detects both living and dead Legionella, vPCR allows only viable and viable but none-culturable Legionella detection. This rapid method has been validated to equivalently match our 7-day turnaround for culture-based with results also reported in CFU/ml instead of genomic units.
Legionella is not the only waterborne pathogen that has become a prevalent issue. Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterium (NTMs) is another bacterium that is commonly found in potable water systems and is responsible for an increasing number of post-op infections (1). EST is now also capable of next-day, viable NTM analysis with our vPCR methodology.
To all we spoke to at APIC, thank you for stopping by and we are excited to see you again at APIC 2023. If you are interested to learn more about our vPCR technology for Legionella and NTMs, please click here or get in touch with our contact us page.