Legionella PCR Test

EST’s NEW Quantitative Viable Legionella vPCR

The Legionella Testing Revolution has ARRIVED!

Culture Legionella methods can take a week or more to be reported back to the customer.  This can cause a critical delay in establishing a remediation protocol and returning a building to full use after a shutdown.  Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) rapid testing for Legionella has been available for many years, but PCR does not distinguish living from dead Legionella leading to potential false positives that require a culture to confirm, resulting in the same costly delays. PCR tests that only remove “dead” free DNA (via filtration or enzymatic processing of the sample) do NOT remove Legionella DNA from intact dead bacteria in the sample.

When it comes to water testing for Legionella!

Speed can save lives!

Our quantitative viable Legionella PCR Test provides you with LIVING Legionella counts (CFU/ml*) in as little as 6 HOURS!  This is living Legionella only (PMA exclusion) , no false positives due to intact dead Legionella or free DNA, no need to confirm with culture.  This analysis will provide you the quickest most reliable confimation sampling for Legionella allowing you to quickly proceed with remediation or reopening of your building. 

Legionella vPCR is the answer for vPCR page

But wait, there is more!

Why wait a week for your viable Legionella culture results?

Next Day or Same Day Turnaround available


The test is offered with two different turnaround times allowing for additional information to be combined with this analysis.

NEXT DAY results are reported as CFU/ml* for Legionella pneumophila at the limit of detection (LOD) as described above reported on the next business day.  There is an option with this analysis to also request a Next Day Total Bacteria Count and/or a Next Day Pseudomonas aeruginosa screening.

SAME DAY results are reported as CFU/ml* for Legionella pneumophila at the limit of detection (LOD) as described above and are reported 6 hours after receipt in the Laboratory. 

*Note that the results are given in units of CFU/ml so you can use the numbers just like you do with culture results. Clearly there are no “colonies” to count in a PCR procedure, so no actual Colony -Forming Units (CFU) are counted. But, the Genomic Units (GU) that are detected in the PCR reaction are from DNA that has been extracted and polymerized from viable Legionella only. Thus, in a Legionella vPCR reaction a GU is equivalent to a CFU, and as such is an infectious unit capable of causing Legionaries’ Disease.

There is a large body of solid science behind…

Viability PCR

 with PMA and PMAxxTM dyes


Live cell detection vPCR

Viability PCR (v-PCR) is a powerful technology for the sensitive and rapid detection of viable microorganisms. Unlike time-consuming culturing methods, qPCR is a fast and sensitive method of detection. However, normal PCR does not distinguish between live and dead cells.

With v-PCR using PMA, you get the speed, sensitivity and specificity of PCR, plus quantified viability. And because no culturing is required, you can even detect viable but not culturable (VBNC) bacteria. The v-PCR technology can be applied not only to bacteria but to other organisms like yeast, and parasites.

As the inventor of both PMAxx™ and PMA dyes for v-PCR, Biotium offers the expertise, and the widest selection of v-PCR dyes, kits and accessory products.




Viability PCR dyes like PMAxx™ or PMA are membrane-impermeant

The science is in! Over 15 years of scientific publications have now confirmed these living versus dead findings with PMA, and with the new and improved PMAxx™, using a variety of bacteria, archaea, yeast, eukaryotic parasites, and even enveloped viruses!   Complex matrices, such as mixed microbial biofilms have also been analyzed with the same confirmatory results.     

Check out 200 references of this published science on the Biotium website:




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