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Europe’s only elite Legionella detection lab in Croatia

Legionella lab in Croatia


ZAGREB, 16 June (Hina) – The laboratory of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Public Health Institute’s Environmental Protection and Health Ecology Department is the only one in Europe with the ELITE programme certificate for detecting multiple types of Legionella in water by using the cultivation method.

“The certificate is a significant achievement demonstrating our experts’ capabilities and competitiveness on a global level,” the Institute said on Thursday, adding that said method is considered the gold standard for detecting those pathogenic bacteria.

Only 150 laboratories in the world have the ELITE programme certificate, as cultivating Legionella spp. in a laboratory on special media is extremely challenging, lengthy, and complex, said Darija Vukić Lušić, head of the Sanitary Microbiology and Environmental Biology Department.

We decided to participate in the demanding inter-laboratory comparison organised by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from Atlanta, she said, adding that detection, identification, and determination of Legionella concentration is challenging and can take up to 10 days.

Success in performing these procedures indicates a high level of accuracy and precision in results, which is the foundation for building trust in the laboratory, knowledge exchange, and professional development, Lušić said.

Obtaining such a certificate indicates the laboratory’s capabilities, skills, and advanced techniques, she added.


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