WESTBROOK, Maine, July 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDXX) today announced the availability of Legiolert, the easiest culture method for the confirmed detection of Legionella pneumophila in drinking water. Legionella pneumophila is the most common Legionella species in water and the primary cause of Legionnaires' disease.1 This month marks the 40th anniversary of the first outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Philadelphia,2 which prompted one of the largest respiratory disease investigations in U.S. history. Legionnaires' disease is deadly for about 1 in 10 people who contract it and often causes long-lasting symptoms for survivors.3
Legiolert improves public health response times by accurately detecting the presence of Legionella pneumophila in potable water systems in seven days, versus up to 14 days with traditional culture methods. The new test also saves valuable laboratory time.
"Legiolert simplifies traditional water testing by requiring fewer steps," said Dan Broder, PhD, lead scientist on the Legiolert project at IDEXX Laboratories. "Legiolert does not require laborious colony counting or confirmation steps, which reduces the need for training and the risk of interpretation errors, and frees up laboratory staff time."
Though the disease is largely preventable, diagnosed cases of Legionnaires' disease in the United States quadrupled between 2000 and 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recently reported that almost all of the Legionnaires' disease outbreaks over the past 15 years could have been avoided, and lives saved, with better water system management. For hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, and other high-risk buildings, testing drinking water and other building water systems is the only way to ensure an effective risk management plan against Legionella pneumophila.
"IDEXX Water is the global leader in water microbiology. With Legiolert, we continue our commitment to innovation in diagnostics technologies to improve the safety of water worldwide," said Jonathan W. Ayers, president and chief executive officer of IDEXX Laboratories. "Legiolert is so much simpler than current culture methods, we expect to see an increase in the number of laboratories testing for Legionella pneumophila from the very few that do so today."
For more information on IDEXX Water's Legiolert test and water safety testing, please visit idexx.com/water/products/legiolert.html.
About IDEXX Laboratories
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is a leader in pet healthcare innovation, serving practicing veterinarians around the world with a broad range of diagnostic and information technology-based products and services. IDEXX products enhance the ability of veterinarians to provide advanced medical care, improve staff efficiency, and build more economically successful practices. IDEXX is also a worldwide leader in providing livestock and poultry diagnostic tests and tests for the quality and safety of water and milk. Headquartered in Maine, IDEXX employs 7,000 people and offers products to customers in more than 175 countries.
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
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1. Brunette GW, ed. CDC Health Information for International Travel 2016: The Yellow Book.New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2016.
2. Lucas S; Pennsylvania Center for the Book, "The Philly Killer:" 1976's Legionnaires' disease. http://pabook.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/Legionnaires.html. Published Spring 2010. Accessed July 21, 2016.
3. Dooling KL, Toews KA, Hicks LA, et al. Active bacterial core surveillance for legionellosis–United States, 2011–2013. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64(42):1190–1193.
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SOURCE IDEXX Laboratories, Inc.