Landsec and Spartan Bioscience Trial the World’s First On-Site Legionella DNA Test in the UK

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Spartan's test provides highly accurate qPCR results in 45 minutes to reduce the risk of Legionnaires' disease outbreaks

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"Landsec is always looking for innovative solutions that can make our buildings safer. We look forward to working with Spartan to bring this technology to the UK and investigating methods to further reduce the risk of Legionnaires' outbreaks."–Tim Peacock, Innovation Director at Landsec

Landsec and Spartan Bioscience today announced they will trial the world’s first on-site Legionella DNA test in the UK.

In May, Landsec will undertake trials using Spartan’s innovative Legionella test. Spartan’s test provides highly accurate qPCR Legionella results in 45 minutes, enabling operators to take corrective action within hours instead of weeks. This test, if approved, could replace the need to send samples to laboratories and ensure enhanced levels of water safety.

Spartan’s Legionella test is widely used by North America’s leading real estate companies, data facilities, and healthcare organizations. In addition, it is validated according to ISO/Technical Standard 12869:2012. Landsec is the first company to trial Spartan’s technology in the UK.

Legionella is a common bacterium that can infect the water systems of large buildings. When infected water systems release aerosolized water droplets contaminated with Legionella, building occupants can breathe in the contaminated air and contract Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially fatal pneumonia. There are dozens of high-profile Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks in the UK each year.(1) For example, in August 2017, a woman died from a Legionella outbreak that was traced back to a contaminated water system in a Ludlow hotel.(2)

The traditional Legionella testing method, bacterial culture, takes 10-14 days to provide results. But this turnaround time can be too slow because Legionella can grow to outbreak levels in as few as 7 days.(3) In comparison, Spartan’s test provides results in 45 minutes. Additionally, Spartan’s Legionella test uses a Nobel-Prize winning chemistry called quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR). qPCR is commonly used for medical diagnostics because of its highly-improved accuracy compared to traditional testing methods.

“Landsec is always looking for innovative solutions that can make our buildings and their occupants safer,” said Tim Peacock, Innovation Director at Landsec. “We look forward to working with Spartan to bring this technology to the UK and investigating methods to further reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ outbreaks in our buildings.”

“Landsec is one of the leading property management companies in the UK and we are excited to have them onboard with this trial. With support from businesses like Landsec, we hope to eventually eradicate Legionnaires’ outbreaks around the world,” said Paul Lem, M.D., CEO of Spartan Bioscience.

About Spartan Bioscience
Spartan Bioscience is the leader in on-demand DNA testing.(5) Spartan’s technology fully integrates DNA collection, extraction, and analysis, with an intuitive interface that is easy to operate. The Spartan Cube, the world’s smallest DNA analyzer, enables unprecedented portability and convenience in applications such as infectious disease, pharmacogenetics, and food and water safety testing. Spartan created the first on-site Legionella DNA test to reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks in buildings. It consists of a coffee-cup-sized, portable DNA analyzer called the Spartan Cube® and a single-use disposable test cartridge. https://www.spartanbio.com/

About Landsec
Landsec is one of the largest commercial property development and real estate investment companies in the United Kingdom, with more than 23M sq. ft. and £14B under management. Landsec’s portfolio includes landmark buildings such as Piccadilly Lights and the Zig Zag Building. Landsec is highly committed to improving health and safety through innovation solutions.

References
1. Public Health England. (2018). Legionnaires disease in residents of England and Wales–2016.
2. BBC. (2017). Fatal Legionnaires' outbreak at Ludlow hotel. September 13.
3. Marshall AG, Bellucci EC. (1986). Hospitality Review. 1(4): Article 2.
4. Ahmed S et al. (2019). Journal of Water and Health. 17(2): 237–253.
5. Roberts JD et al. (2012). Lancet. 379:1705–11.

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Rachel Collier, Director of Communications
Spartan Bioscience Inc.
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