Portable System for On-Site Legionella Detection

EPA Contract Number: 68D98125
Title: Portable System for On-Site Legionella Detection
Investigators: Fernandez, Salvador M.
Small Business: Ciencia Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1998 through March 1, 1999
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , SBIR - Monitoring , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The objective of this project is to develop a fluorescence-based system (instrument plus reagents) for onsite quantitative detection of Legionella and other environmental pathogens. Currently, Legionella testing must be performed in the laboratory, which is both costly and slow. There is a need for improved methods capable of rapid onsite analysis. The proposed system will be compact (hand portable), low cost, and capable of extremely high sensitivity. It will enable, for the first time, the performance of sophisticated Legionella assays onsite with immediate (approximately 1 hour) results. No such systems are currently available. Detection will be based on the innovative integration of novel fluorescence detection methods and instrumentation recently developed at Ciencia and novel fluorescent phycobilisome markers recently developed by Martek Biosciences Corporation. The detection system can be used for testing of water cooling tonics, spray-type humidifiers, and other air conditioning associated equipment. Other potential applications include environmental testing of rivers, lakes, ponds, sewage treatment facilities, and water reclamation.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, monitoring, analytical, engineering, chemistry, EPA., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Microbiology, Monitoring/Modeling, Analytical Chemistry, Engineering, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, environmental monitoring, microbial monitoring, pathogens, field portable monitoring, field portable systems, bacteria monitoring, field monitoring, municipal wastewater, biomonitoring, fluorescence detection, Ligionella detection, indoor air, measurement, innovative technologies, flourescence assay, microbial flora, atmospheric chemistry

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • SBIR Phase II:

    Portable System for On-Site Detection of Legionella  | 1998 Progress Report  | Final Report