RAPID MICROBIOLOGICAL DETECTION
RESOURCES RESEARCH INC WASHINGTON DC
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The feasibility of detecting microorganisms rapidly by measuring light emitted when they are introduced into an ATP-dependent firefly luminescence reaction has been established. Instrumentation, consisting basically of a reaction chamber, a photomultiplier system, and an oscilloscope with camera attachment, has been assembled in a manner which permits the observation and recording of the reaction produced by quantities of ATP as low as 2 x 110,000 ug. Nearly instantaneous, positive responses have been obtained from 16 different microorganisms which included bacteria, yeast, and streptomycetes. Similarly rapid responses have also been obtained from lyophilized bacteria, a commercial preparation of dried yeast, fungus spores, and a soil extract. Bacterial cells in lag phase responded as readily as those in exponential growth. Yeast cells grown for two weeks responded in the same manner as younger cells. Cultures older than two weeks were not tested. A response was obtained from Bacillus subtilis spores when tested after 90 minutes of incubation in a growth medium. Dead cells did not yield a positive response.
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