The Spartan Cube.

Spartan Cube logs more reliable Legionella results

Jan. 24, 2018
Legionella has been back in the news of late, so the world’s first on-site DNA test for it in buildings seems right on time.

Legionella has made quite a few headlines lately but that may change with the world’s first on-site Legionella DNA test for buildings.

This little aluminum box by Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience reduces the amount of time it takes for municipalities to receive results on Legionella tests. What now normally takes weeks will take about half hour.
The Spartan Cube, which Spartan Biosciences is marketing as the world’s smallest molecular diagnostic device, will also mitigate the false negatives that municipalities all too frequently believe.

“The legionella often dies en route to the testing center, even if the sample has a high units-per-mill number,” Spartan CEO Dr. Paul Lam said when demonstrating the product at the Show Monday afternoon.
“We think we can in time eradicate legionnaires disease with this. It offers customers great relief to know what’s going on with their cooling water tanks for a few thousand dollars a year.”

One client is a city in Canada who, Lam says, has far tougher legionella testing policies than the toughest he’s found in the United States, which was in New York. His Canadian client tests its water exponentially more frequently than anyone else, so the cube made an obviously good choice.

But it’s not the number of times a site is tested that determines the test results. Of 51 cooling towers tested in Canada , for instance, the cube showed that eight percent of the time they had high numbers of legionella bacteria per milliliter.

The technology is also being used elsewhere such as in the medical industry and by building owners.