Microbiology

We offer a broad range of microbiological analyses for food and feed, environmental samples, and water and sewerage. We adapt our analyses to the customer’s products and needs.

Legionella

For more than 20 years, SINTEF Norlab has assisted customers in the sampling and analysis of drinking water, clean water, wastewater, and leachate. We offer complete analysis packages that satisfy the increasingly strict requirements specified by the authorities. We offer microbiological, inorganic, and organic analyses.

In case of Legionella testing, water samles are generally collected from showers, jacuzzis, and other aerosol-producing facilities.

Legionella

Legionella is a bacterium that can naturally be found in low concentrations in surface water and soil. Legionella has favourable growth conditions in pipes with stagnant water and temperatures ranging between 20 and 50°C. In such conditions, biofilms form, allowing Legionella bacteria and amoeba to thrive. It is essential to have proper preventive procedures in place, such as weekly flushing of rarely used drain points and measures such as removing any pipe blinds in the internal pipe network to prevent the formation of biofilms. Water heaters must also maintain a high enough temperature (minimum 70 °C) for Legionella bacteria not to thrive.

Transmission of infection

Legionella is transmitted through aerosols, which are small droplets of water that are inhaled into the lungs, for instance when showering.

Pathological scenarios

Legionella bacteria can result in two potential pathological scenarios. One is Legionnaires’ disease, which causes severe pneumonia, with the most vulnerable people being those with weakened immune systems and the elderly. The other is Pontiac fever and resembles a mild form of influenza.

SINTEF Norlab

SINTEF Norlab conducts laboratory analyses of Legionella. Our laboratory in Kristiansund performs accredited analysis in accordance with the cultivation method NS-EN ISO 11731, while the laboratory in Namdal performs analyses using the PCR method. The PCR method is preferred if you require rapid screening to identify whether there are any Legionella bacteria in the system. Otherwise, we recommend the cultivation method for ordinary sampling, but this method takes longer. Please contact our technical experts (link) for further information.

The guidelines issued by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health recommend analysing for germ count at 36 °C at the same time as Legionella. There is no direct correlation between the two parameters, but the germ count (total number of bacteria and fungi) can be considered a general hygiene parameter and provides an indication of whether biofilm has been established or is under development in the pipe network.

Our members of staff have experience in performing pipe network reviews and can conduct risk assessments together with operating personnel to draw up a sampling plan.

Training

We have extensive experience in providing Legionella training courses. Please get in touch for a quote.

Sample collection

For water sample collection, you will need a sterile 1 L water bottle. This sample packaging is included in our analysis price. You will receive bottles and sampling instructions when you visit or contact one of our laboratories.

 

Legionella training courses

Due to the coronavirus situation, our training courses have been moved to digital classrooms. During these times, when our focus is on vulnerable groups and seeking not to unnecessarily burden our health service, it is even more important to ensure that there are no cases of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. This is highly relevant now that showers have been left unused for long periods of time.

The target audience for the training course includes unit managers for local authority technology and property management units, caretakers, and other personnel whose duties are associated with the prevention of Legionella. The training course is practically structured and focus on shower systems and internal water distribution networks.

 

Objectives

After completing the course, participants will be able to perform risk assessments in their own organization. This includes identifying any problem areas, collecting shower water samples, and identifying the correct measures.

Course instructors

Anne Kristin Gussiås, Head of Microbiology, SINTEF Norlab

Svein G Drabløs, Head Adviser, SINTEF Norlab

Training course content

The training course spans three hours and has the following content:

  • regulations
  • legionella bacteria
  • internal water distribution networks
  • microbiological sampling
  • risk assessments

Course material and course certificates are issued upon completion of the course.

Price

NOK 1 800 (NOK 1 600 if multiple participants from the same company/employer)

Contact information

Rolf Erik Nustad – Advisor (tel.: +47 92 47 82 92)
rolf.erik.nustad@sintefnorlab.no

 

Norsk Akkreditering
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Title Address Description
Namsos
Axel Sellægs veg 3, 7800 Namsos, Norge

Besøk:
SINTEF Norlab AS, Namdal
Axel Sellægs veg 3
7805 Namsos

Brev:
SINTEF Norlab AS, Namdal
Postboks 433 Sentrum
7801 Namsos

Tlf: 950 11 613
Epost: namdal

Kristiansund
Wilhelm Dalls vei 50, 6511 Kristiansund, Norge

SINTEF Norlab AS, Kristiansund
Wilhelm Dalls vei 50
6511 Kristiansund

Tlf: 924 79 492
Epost: kristiansund

Laboratories for legionella

Do not hesitate to contact one of our designated laboratories in case of questions or need for clarifications.

Svein Gunnar Drabløs

Svein Gunnar Drabløs

Department Advisor

Advisor environmental health protection, training courses, food hygiene, HACCP, internal control food industry

 +47 92 47 90 92
svein.drablos