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NMFS NUMBER: 93-WO-022
Microbial Safety: Rapid Methods for Shellfish and Seawater-Injured
September 3, 1999
National Marine Fisheries Service, National Program Office,
1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
PHONE: (301) 713-2358
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study addressed two major problems: (1) development of
a simple, rapid, sensitive test for fecal contamination
in shellfish based on the indole production by Escherich
a coli and (2) the need for a reliable test for fecal
contamination in seawater. We found that our "Colitag-S"
medium and its indole reaction provided an excellent MPN
test for E. coli in shellfish. It supplies
trimethylamine that neutralizes acid produced from glycogen
in shellfish tissue, permitting the inclusion of large
amounts of shellfish in each culture tube. This
increases sensitivity. As for resuscitating seawater-injured
E. coli for use as a seawater fecal indicator,
we found that pyruvate in the medium would greatly enhance
the recovery of E. coli injured under laboratory
conditions. However, preliminary studies with field
samples were less than promising. The primary goal,
the development and validation of a simple, rapid E.
coli test for shellfish tissues, was effectively
attained. The secondary goal of improving resuscitation
of seawater-injured E. coli yielded an exciting
lead with the discovery of pyruvate-enhanced resuscitation.
However, it should be tested further in waters with higher
levels of fecal contamination than those of San Francisco
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