The Hydrosense test detects Legionella antigen using the well-established lateral flow test technology. The same technology is used in many medical tests. The test works just like a pregnancy test except it detects LpSG1 antigen rather than pregnancy markers. It works by attaching colour indicators to Legionella antibodies printed on a cellulose strip. This type of test is a specific type of lateral flow test.
How does the test work?
Does it test for all Legionella Bacteria?
The Hydrosense test is highly specific for Legionella pneumophila SG1. This is the variety of Legionella which is responsible for the majority of legionnaires disease cases and has been responsible for all known outbreaks of the disease.
When should the test be used?
The Hydrosense test is particularly useful in 5 situations:
1. In any environment without easy access to a lab. Many sites with critical water supplies are in remote locations without ready access to lab testing. On site testing provides invaluable reassurance.
2. Checking after a disinfection treatment. Once an infected water system has been treated, the faster it can be confirmed that the treatment has been effective, the faster everyone can get back to work.
3. Checking systems where control measures have gone out of conformance e.g. cold water too warm, hot water not hot enough, or biocide levels too low. The system may not be compromised, but a quick real time check will allay doubts and mitigate risks if a treatment is indicated.
4. Routine monitoring of water systems. If a water system is infected, then the faster this is identified the faster corrective action can be taken. The UK L8 guidelines rely heavily on the risk assessment procedure, which requires that testing regimes are tailored to specific circumstances of the water system.
5. Identifying source of outbreaks. If there is an outbreak it is important for both public health and legal reasons to establish the source as soon as possible. Immediate testing can provide immediate detection and should be carried out before any disinfection treatment as part of a sampling regime.
Do I need to wear Protective Equipment when using the test?
No particular precautions are required. If the water is found to be contaminated, then you should avoid being near aerosols (showers and spray) from that water source, but there are no dangers associated with the test.
Do I need any additional special equipment to carry out the test?
All of the equipment you need to carry out a test is included in the kit provided.
What should I do if I get a Positive Result?
We recommend that you should immediately clean your system and check that this cleaning has been successful. If the test has not been carried out by a water treatment professional, you will probably want to contact one. Legionella Control Association can provide contact details for a qualified professional in your area.
How should the tests be stored?
The tests can be stored at room temperature, preferably below 30 Degrees C and must be kept free of moisture. The tests come packed in a waterproof foil wrapper, which must be tamper free. Damaged wrappers mean that the test has been compromised and must not be used.
How should I dispose of the tests once used?
Used tests can be disposed of in normal waste procedures. The tests, even when exposed, contain no dangerous substances. If you have a positive test your water is an issue, but not the test.