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New RD on Legionella published

Laboratorio Control informs of the publication of the new Royal Decree which aims to prevent and control legionellosis by establishing new health measures to be applied in facilities susceptible to the proliferation and dissemination of Legionella.

As reflected in the new Royal Decree 487/2022, published on 21 June, the main responsibility for compliance with the health and hygiene conditions corresponds to the owner of the facilities, who can resort to the implementation of a Legionella Prevention and Control Plan or a Legionella Health Plan, the latter being optional and the former being the starting point. The Legionella Prevention and Control Plan must be designed and implemented contemplating, at least, the requirements established in the annexes of the Royal Decree, with the content established therein.

According to Article 12.1 of the new RD, it is considered appropriate to focus health policy on the accreditation of laboratories for the determination of Legionella spp. by means of culture and, therefore, ENAC accreditation is mandatory to carry out this culture. Furthermore, it establishes the taking of samples under documented procedures with an integrating vision (unequivocal linking of the sample and its result with the maintenance and treatment programmes, which guarantees the traceability and custody of the sample).

Water quality is assessed on the basis of microbiological parameters (aerobes and Legionella spp.) and physico-chemical parameters that should preferably be analysed in situ (pH, conductivity, temperature, etc.) at the time of sampling and others that, depending on their analytical complexity or their importance in the adoption of corrective measures, should be determined in the laboratory.

The culture method shall be the reference method for Legionella and alternative methods to culture, non-culture based methods and molecular methods, in particular live PCR (qPCR), may be used in addition to the culture method and in certain situations.

Of special interest is ANNEX V, which includes the sampling programme depending on the facility to be controlled and which varies in number of samples and frequencies with that established in the former RD, as well as ANNEX VI, which defines the protocol for taking and transporting samples and clearly indicates both packaging and transport conditions and times depending on the parameter to be analysed.

Finally, the rest of the annexes of the Royal Decree establish, both for the purposes of routine application of the different programmes and in the case of notification of cases or outbreaks, general requirements applicable to all the facilities covered by the Royal Decree, and additionally, specific requirements are established for certain types of facilities.

Laboratorio Control, a benchmark in the sector, with more than 20 years of experience offering Legionella analysis by culture and sample collection accredited by ENAC, as well as Legionella analysis by PCR (qPCR), meets the requirements of the new Royal Decree 487/2022, being able to guide the client in the control and advice on the new measures that the company must adopt.

Do not hesitate to contact the team of professionals at Laboratorio Control.


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