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Colorimetric enumeration of Escherichia coli based on beta-glucuronidase activity

Adams, M. R., Grubb, S. M., Hamer, A. and Clifford, M. N. (1990) Colorimetric enumeration of Escherichia coli based on beta-glucuronidase activity Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 56. pp. 2021-2024.


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A medium containing a chromogenic substrate was developed for the enumeration of Escherichia coli on the basis of beta-glucuronidase activity. In this medium there was an inverse linear relationship between the log initial E. coli concentration and the time taken for the color to reach a threshold optical density of 0.05. This relationship applied even when the E. coli population contained 5% beta-glucuronidase-negative cells. Incubation at 44 degrees C reduced the time taken for color development and allowed the procedure to be used in the presence of a competitive microflora that outnumbered the E. coli population by a factor of 10(4). Sodium lauryl sulfate as an additional selective agent gave no significant improvement. In the analysis of environmental water samples, the technique gave a good correlation with a standard cultural method. The procedure shows promise as a simple method for testing the compliance of environmental samples with microbiological criteria for E. coli.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Biosciences and Medicine > Department of Nutritional Sciences
Authors :
Adams, M.
Grubb, S. M.
Hamer, A.
Clifford, M. N.
Date : 1 July 1990
Additional Information : Published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 56 (7), p.p. 2021-2024. © American Society for Microbiology, 1990.
Depositing User : Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited : 27 May 2010 14:39
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 16:21

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