Water Sampling Module for Collecting and Concentrating Legionella pneumophila from Low-to-Medium Contaminated Environment

Biosensors (Basel). 2021 Jan 27;11(2):34. doi: 10.3390/bios11020034.


The detection of water contamination with Legionella pneumophila is of critical importance to manufacturers of water processing equipment and public health entities dealing with water networks and distribution systems. Detection methods based on polymerase chain reaction or biosensor technologies require preconcentration steps to achieve attractive sensitivity levels. Preconcentration must also be included in protocols of automated collection of water samples by systems designed for quasi-continuous monitoring of remotely located water reservoirs for the presence of L. pneumophila. We designed and characterized a water sampling module for filtration and backwashing intended for analysis of low-to-medium contaminated water, typically with L. pneumophila bacteria not exceeding 50 colony-forming units per milliliter. The concentration factors of 10× and 21× were achieved with 0.22 and 0.45 µm filters, respectively, for samples of bacteria prepared in clean saline solutions. However, a 5× concentration factor was achieved with 0.45 µm filters for a heavily contaminated or turbid water typical of some industrial water samples.

Keywords: Legionella pneumophila; Legionnaires’ disease; bacteria; concentration factor; cooling towers; filtration system; recovery rate; water samples.

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Filtration
  • Legionella pneumophila / isolation & purification*
  • Water
  • Water Microbiology*
  • Water Pollution / statistics & numerical data


  • Water