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Chapter 111 : Method Development for Legionella Detection in Metalworking Fluids
Metalworking fluids (MWFs) are highly susceptible to microbiological contamination from the environment due to high water content, available nutrients, and optimum growth temperature for most environmental microorganisms. Outbreaks of Pontiac fever and Legionnaires' disease were associated with MWFs at two unrelated automotive facilities. Legionella feeleii and L. pneumophila serogroup 1 (sg 1) were identified as the probable causative organisms. The objective of this chapter was to develop a selective and sensitive culture method for detection of Legionella in MWFs in order to prevent and control possible occupational health-related problems. Recovery efficiency was evaluated by spiking MWF field samples, highly contaminated (107 to 108/ml) with nonlegionella organisms with high levels (106 to 107/ml) of L. pneumophila sg 1 and L. feeleii. Several sample treatment conditions to reduce the interference of the high background population, including acidification, heat treatment, and use of antibiotics in the recovery medium, were evaluated.