The Public Health Laboratories of Castilla La Mancha (Spain) have introduced the Legipid® Legionella Fast Detection kit to determine Legionella in water. This kit was developed by the company Biótica Bioquimica Analítica, which belongs to the Science, Technology and Business Park of the Universitat Jaume I (espaitec).

The Biótica biotechnology company specialises in developing rapid tests to detect pathogens in environmental samples with several products on the market, which focus on the early detection of Legionella. Legipid® Legionella Fast Detection is the only rapid Legionella test with an international certificate, obtained through the AOAC Research Institute. Legipid is capable of detecting and quantifying the concentration of Legionella in a building in just 1 hour. It is based on capturing this bacterium thanks to some magnetic particles that have specific antibodies against Legionella bound to their surface.

This espaitec-linked company stresses that «this public contract sets a precedent for other Spanish Regional Ministries of Health that wish to improve their Legionella detection system, and could warn earlier and avoid the dreadful consequences of cases and outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease, like the recent case in August in New York where 12 people died and more than 120 people contracted the disease, or last year in Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal, with 370 cases and 13 deaths».

In the private domain, the kit developed in espaitec is also being included to control vulnerable buildings like health resorts and hotels. In the Regional Ministry of Health of Castilla La Mancha, this product will be supplied by the firm Vidra Foc S.A., which has been awarded the supply contract of sera and specific kits for microbiological use through a negotiated open procedure in July.