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Method for eliminating legionella from a colonized aqueous flux by electropulsation



Statut des brevets


Nathalie EYNARD
Pierre-André CABANES

Statut commercial

Exclusive or non-exclusive licenses and research agreements


Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale (IPBS) – UMR 5089, a joint institute of CNRS and Paul Sabatier University (University of Toulouse), in Toulouse, France.
Department : Cellular Biophysics.



Legioserious pneumopathy know as “legionnaire’s disease” or legionellosis and a benign flu-like syndrome known as “Pontiac fever”. Contamination can occur by inhaling water micro-doplets containing bacteria, in particular when using hot water for sanitary purposes, mainly from showering and via air conditioning units. Legionellosis mortality rate can be as high as 10%; this disease poses a difficult problem as regards prevention, in particular in hospitals and in termal facilities. There is a great need for a method and units that can destroy Legionella effectively, without involving a deleterious secondary effect, such as the toxic effects of chlorine, and which can be operated permanently in an economic manner.nella are Gram negative bacilli that cause a potentially.


The invention relates to a method for treating an aqueous flow colonised by cells by applying a pulsed electric field, the intensity of the field being less than 1 kV/cm. It also relates to the application of this method to eliminating Legionella and to a method for destroying Legionella.

<h3″> BENEFITS</h3″>

The advantage of the flow system is that it can be used to treat large volumes. The method overcomes the disadvantages of chlorination, re-colonisation (because of complete eradication of bacteria), burn risk and economic constraints. No systemic toxicity is induced.


Treatment of continuous or sequential natural, domestic or industrial aqueous flow. This treatment can be used for example in hospitals, termal facilities, retirement homes, hotels, etc.


Pilot systems are available at the laboratory scale with a low flow rate. Flow chamber design is optimized as well as the nature of the electrodes. The process needs further developments concerning new high power pulsed electric generators. They are needed for the treatment of larger volumes requested for the use at an industrial level.


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