Technische Universität München

Microarray rapid test detectsLegionella pneumophila in 35 minutes - instead of ten days

TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH

Corporate Communications Center

phone: +49 89 289 10510 - e-mail: presse@tum.de - web: www.tum.de

This text on the web: https://www.tum.de/nc/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/detail/article/34535/

High resolution images: https://mediatum.ub.tum.de/1436118

Presentation at Analytica 2018 in Munich, April 10-13, 2018, Hall 3, Stand 315

NEWS RELEASE

Measurement chip detects Legionella

Microarray rapid test speeds up detection in case of a Legionella pneumophila outbreak

In an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease, finding the exact source as quickly as possible is essential to preventing further infections. To date, a detailed analysis takes days. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich have now developed a rapid test that achieves the same result in about 35 minutes.

Legionella are rod-shaped bacteria that can cause life-threatening pneumonia in humans. They multiply in warm water and can be dispersed into the air via cooling towers, evaporative recooling systems and hot water systems.

The most dangerous among the almost 50 species of Legionella is Legionella pneumophila. It is responsible for 80 percent of all infections. When an outbreak occurs, the source of the germs must be identified as soon as possible to prevent further infections.

Similar to a paternity test, the origin of the outbreak is confirmed when the germs in the process water of a technical system exactly match those identified in the patient. However, often numerous systems must be tested in the process, and the requisite cultivation for the test takes around ten days.

Faster detection with antibodies

Meanwhile there is a rapid test for detecting the Legionella pathogen in the clinic. It identifies compounds of Legionella in the urine of patients. "Unfortunately, this quick test serves only as a first indication and is not suitable for screening the water of technical systems," says PD Dr. Michael Seidel, head of the research group at the Chair of Analytical Chemistry and Water Chemistry of the Technical University of Munich.

The team of scientists thus developed a measuring chip in the context of the "LegioTyper" project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. This chip not only detects the dangerous pathogen Legionella pneumophila but also identifies which of the approximately 20 subtypes is present.

Fast, inexpensive and versatile

The foil-based measuring chip uses the microarray analysis platform MCR of the Munich company GWK GmbH. Using 20 different antibodies, the system provides a complete analysis within 34 minutes.

"Compared to previous measurements, the new method not only provides a huge speed advantage," says Michael Seidel, "but is also so cheap that we can use the chip in one-time applications."

The system can be deployed for environmental hygiene as well as clinical diagnostics. In combination with a second, DNA-based method, the system can even distinguish between dead and living Legionella pathogens. This allows the success of disinfection measures to be monitored. The project participants will present their system to the public for the first time at the Analytica 2018 trade fair in Munich (Hall 3, Booth 315).

Publication:

Wunderlich, A.; Torggler, C.; Elsaesser, D.; Lück, C.; Niessner, R.; Seidel, M.,

Rapid quantification method for Legionella pneumophila in surface water.

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 2016, 408(9), 2203-2213 - DOI: 10.1007/s00216-016-9362-x.

Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00216-016-9362-x

Kober, C.; Niessner, R.; Seidel, M.

Quantification of viable and non-viable Legionella spp. by heterogeneous asymmetric recombinase polymerase amplification (haRPA) on a flow-based chemiluminescence microarray. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2018, 100, 49-55

Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956566317305882

More information:

The LegioTyper project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the context of the "Civil Security - Protection against biological threats and pandemics" program. The antibodies were provided by the German Reference Laboratory for Legionella at the TU Dresden.

The microarray analysis platform MCR of the Munich company GWK GmbH is also used in a test for antibiotic residues in milk developed at the same chair:

https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/detail/article/31075/

High resolution images and video:

https://mediatum.ub.tum.de/1436118

Video about the use of isothermal nucleic acid amplification (haRPA) on the DNA microarray on the TwistDx website: https://www.twistdx.co.uk/en/innovation/water-testing

Links:

LegioTyper website: www.LegioTyper.de

Analytica 2018: www.bayern-innovativ.de/analytica2018/tum-chemie/

Contact:

PD Dr. Michael Seidel

Technical University of Munich

Chair of Analytical Chemistry and Water Chemistry

Institute of Hydrochemistry

Marchioninistr. 17, 81377 München, Germany

Phone: +49 89 2180 78252 - E-mail: michael.seidel@ch.tum.de

Web: http://www.hydrochemistry.tum.de/home/

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Europe's leading research
universities, with around 550 professors, 41,000 students, and 10,000 academic
and non-academic staff. Its focus areas are the engineering sciences, natural
sciences, life sciences and medicine, combined with economic and social
sciences. TUM acts as an entrepreneurial university that promotes talents and
creates value for society. In that it profits from having strong partners in
science and industry. It is represented worldwide with the TUM Asia campus in
Singapore as well as offices in Beijing, Brussels, Cairo, Mumbai, San Francisco,
and São Paulo. Nobel Prize winners and inventors such as Rudolf Diesel, Carl von
Linde, and Rudolf Mößbauer have done research at TUM. In 2006 and 2012 it won
recognition as a German "Excellence University." In international 
rankings, TUM
regularly places among the best universities in Germany. www.tum.de
 



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