Phigenics Water Research Paper Q&A

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Courtesy of Phigenics, LLC

Q.  What is the name of the research paper?
A.  “Inaccuracy in Legionella Tests of Building Water Systems Due to Sample Holding Time”

Q.  Who are the authors?
A.  Dr. William F. McCoy, Erin L. Downes, Lesley F. Leonidas, Melissa F. Cain, Daniel L. Sherman, Kevin Chen, Sangeetha Devender and Michael J. Neville. All authors are subject matter experts and were employees of Phigenics when the work was done.

Q.  What publication was the paper published in?
A.  Water Research, the official journal of the International Water Association (IWA). Water Research is one of the most influential scientific journals in the world for water related
research.

Q.  How can I get a copy of the paper?
A.  Go to:  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0043135412002369

Q.  What is the cost?
A.  $31.50

Q.  How should I interpret the results on a commercial and practical level?
A.  Phigenics research and corresponding paper published in Water Research provides robust statistical proof that the ISO Standard Method (also referred to as the Spread Plate Method) for testing for Legionella bacteria provide inaccurate results. The root cause of this inaccuracy is sample holding time during transport to the lab. The Phigenics paper provides a rigorous analysis to explain more specifically what this means and the degree and probabilities to which testing inaccuracies may occur.  

Phigenics has solved the problem of sample holding time by creating a field-practical method for culturing Legionella bacteria immediately on-site after taking the water sample, and thereby completely eliminating testing inaccuracies caused by water sample transit time. Instead of shipping a water sample, the user ships the cultured bacteria. Starting the culture immediately also significantly reduces the time required before test results can be reported to the user.  

Q.  Why should I care?
A.  Treatment and control decisions are made as a result of Legionella test results as part of a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Plan (HACCP). This research shows that utility water test results may be inaccurate one-third of the time, and there is a potential for significant
other types of inaccuracies in both utility and potable water systems. This means that you may make incorrect decisions on treatment and control by either under or over treating to control the hazard. This may result in spending more than what is needed to comply with best
practices, or exposing your facility to a higher risk of an outbreak than what best practices call for. In either case, you will not know where you stand with certainty because you will not know if the testing results are accurate. Download Full Article

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