Proficiency Testing Australia
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The genus Legionella is a pathogenic group of bacteria. Legionnaire’s disease is an illness caused by the species Legionella pneumophila infecting the lungs. The illness produces pneumonia like symptoms, which may cause death in immunocompromised individuals, the young, or the elderly.

The largest source of Legionnaires disease is cooling towers (equipment used in air conditioning and industrial cooling water systems). Other sources of Legionella include domestic water systems and showers, whirlpool spas, fountains, hot springs, ice-making machines, dental equipment, soil and even automobile windshield washer fluid.

According to, the amount of diseases caused by Legionella have been on the rise worldwide since 2000. In 2017, Austria registered 228 cases and 10 deaths.

Closer to home, a Flinders University study has found that out of 68 water samples from domestic showers across Adelaide, 75% were found to contain Legionella. It is therefore recommended to run showers each week to replenish the water sitting in the pipes and to also increase your hot water temperature above 650C in order to kill the bacteria.

Proficiency Testing Australia (PTA) conduct two Legionella proficiency testing programs per year. Participants receive a set of three lenticule discs, which when rehydrated, represent natural cooling tower water containing various levels of Legionella and other background flora.

Legionella Round 60 is scheduled for February 2020, whilst Legionella Round 61 is scheduled for August 2020.

For further information regarding participating in PTA’s Legionella program, please contact PTA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.