30 Oct 2016

There is a family in America with a new member. Or rather, two families. The first is the Clemson family (Clemson is a university found in South Carolina). The second is the legionella bacteria family. And the new member? It’s none other than… drum roll please… legionella clemsonensis. Catchy, eh?

Legionella clemsonensis is the newest strain of legionella bacteria to be discovered, and it has been named after the university that the group of students who found it attend. The students were on a collaborative programme with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) when the new strain popped up in their experiments.

The Centers for Disease Control have discovered new legionella bacteria

The Centers for Disease Control

Although the students immediately knew it was legionella, they were surprised – and not a little confused – to discover that it didn’t match up to any of the known examples of the bacteria. It simply wasn’t in the database, and that was at once both alarming (more legionella?) and fascinating (more legionella!) for students Joseph Painter, Scott Howard, Kyle Toth, Rayphael Hardy, and Kasey Remillard, not to mention CDC staff.

After further investigation, legionella clemsonensis was seen to fluoresce green under ultraviolet light, which is something that no other strain does – every other form of legionella bacteria found thus far fluoresces either yellow, blue, or red.

So yes, we now have an entirely new type of legionella bacteria in our midst, with the potential to infect anyone who inhales it – although those who are particularly vulnerable due to a compromised immune system are most at risk.

Legionella bacteria attacks a compromised immune system

What does this mean?

It means that those who are responsible for employees, for members of the public, for visitors to the buildings that they are in control of have yet another reason to ensure that their legionella risk assessment is up to date and accurate. It’s another reason to hire a consultant who understand legionella (and more importantly legionella control) and who will be able to keep that building safe.

Luckily, the team at Legionella First is jam packed full of consultant and risk assessors. Isn’t it time you got in touch?

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