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Alternative Method for P. aeruginosa Testing in Drinking Water Now Approved by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA)

IDEXX (USA) recently announced that its Pseudalert test and Quanti-Tray, used for the 24 hour confirmed enumeration of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P.aeruginosa), has been included as a microbial detection method in the list of alternative methods issued by the UBA (The German Federal Environment Agency). This inclusion has been granted in accordance with the 2001 Enforcement of Drinking Water Regulations (15 Abs.TrinkwV 2001).

In its statement, the Federal Environment Agency accepted Pseudalert and Quanti-Tray in accordance with its rules. The decision to include the new method followed evaluation of comparative tests done in accordance with DIN EN ISO 17994.

The use of Pseudalert and Quanti-Tray was judged to be an acceptable alternative method to the reference method DIN EN ISO 16266 for detection of P. aeruginosa. In addition, the standard for pool water (DIN 19643) refers to the acceptance of approved alternative methods for drinking water and allows those methods to be used for pool water testing. Therefore, Pseudalert is also allowed to be used as an alternative method for pool water testing under DIN 19643.

The IDEXX Pseudalert test is a rapid method for the detection of P.aeruginosa in drinking and recreational water. It was launched in 2012 by IDEXX to complement a growing portfolio of water microbiological testing solutions, to monitor recreational water where elevated levels of the bacteria can give rise to problems such as “hot-tub rash” (folliculitis) and other infections. Pseudalert has also been adopted by utilities and the bottled drinking water industry as a fast, effective quality control test. For vulnerable populations in hospitals P.aeruginosa infections can cause life-threatening conditions including pneumonia, meningitis and septicemia. A confirmed and quantified result can be achieved in 24 hours with Pseudalert, less than half the time taken by standard methods. This allows results to be determined faster and remedial actions to be taken sooner.

“This latest validation of one of our products is testament to the research and development IDEXX has undertaken over the years to provide rapid, efficient and reliable test methods to monitor water quality,” commented Andrew Headland, Senior Business Manager, IDEXX EMEA.

The IDEXX Pseudalert test is based on a bacterial enzyme detection technology that signals the presence of P. aeruginosa through the hydrolysis of a substrate in the Pseudalert reagent. P. aeruginosa cells rapidly grow and reproduce using the rich supply of amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients present in the Pseudalert reagent. Actively growing strains of P. aeruginosa have an enzyme that cleaves the substrate in the reagent to produce blue fluorescence under ultraviolet light.

Pseudalert, which  recently won the prestigious ‘Product Innovation in Healthcare’ Award at the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management’s (IHEEM) Annual Exhibition in the UK, detects P. aeruginosa at 1 CFU in standard 100ml water samples and gives a confirmed, quantified result within 24 hours.

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