Product News: Rapid test, BinaxNOW®, detects Legionnaire’s Disease in 15 minutes

28 Oct 2008

The BinaxNOW® Legionella test, available from Inverness Medical provides significant time saving advantages over traditional sputum culture. Providing results in fifteen minutes from urine samples, BinaxNOW Legionella enables initiation of effective treatment at the first sign of infection.
The bacteria Legionella pneumophila is the leading cause of Legionnaires’ disease in humans, a severe form of pneumonia. Legionnaires’ disease can affect anyone, with the elderly and immuno-compromised most at risk. Diagnosis of Legionnaires’ disease has relied on culturing sputum samples, which can be difficult to obtain as patients often present with a non-productive cough. Often, invasive procedures are required to obtain a sputum specimen, causing discomfort to the patient.

Between 1995 and 2005 over 32,000 cases of Legionnaires' disease were reported to the European Working Group for Legionella Infections (EWGLI)(1) and there were over 100 European outbreaks per year between 2003 and 2006. With improved testing and surveillance EWGLI hopes to improve knowledge and information on the epidemiological and microbiological aspects of Legionnaires’ disease.

BinaxNOW® Legionella test from Inverness Medical allows for early diagnosis of Legionnaires’ disease by detecting the presence of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 antigen rather than the live bacteria itself from a simple urine sample. Legionella antigens can appear at detectable levels 1-3 days from the onset of symptoms and are an ideal marker for early identification of the disease.

(1). Ricketts KD, Joseph C, LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE IN EUROPE: 2005-2006, Eurosurveillance, Volume 12, Issue 12, 01 December 2007