Testing for Coliforms,
To cultivate Escherichia coli, coliform bacteria and other Enterobacteriaceae, Merck provides a range of selective dehydrated culture media ideally suitable for microbiological testing in pharmaceutical and cosmetics manufacturing facilities. The family of Enterobacteriaceae consists of about 20 genera and includes E. coli and other coliform bacteria. These gram-negative and rod shaped bacteria are facultative anaerobes that can ferment sugar to produce lactic acid. Most species have flagella to move. A large number of Enterobacteriaceae are found in the intestines of humans and animals, some inhabit water or soil and others are parasites of a variety of animals and plants.
Some species produce endotoxins that remain in the cytoplasm of cells until they are released when the cell dies and the cell wall disintegrates. When dead bacterial cells of some species or strains release their endotoxins into the blood stream this can cause a so-called endotoxic shock (septic shock), which can be fatal. Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics manufacturers routinely monitor their production environments, raw materials and products to ensure that they do not contain harmful levels of microorganisms such as Enterobacteriaceae, E. coli and coliforms.
Like all Enterobacteriaceae, coliforms are gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria. Coliform bacteria are common in the feces of warm-blooded animals and can be found in aquatic environments, soil and on plants. Most coliforms do not trigger serious illnesses. Due to the fact that they are easy to cultivate, their presence is used as an indication that more pathogenic organisms of fecal origin are present.
Escherichia coli is a species that belongs to the coliform group of bacteria. It can be distinguished from other coliforms by its growth and color reaction on certain types of culture media. This bacterium is usually common in the lower intestine of warm-blooded animals. Most strains of E. coli are harmless and are part of the normal gut flora. They can benefit their hosts by producing vitamin K2 and preventing that pathogenic bacteria establish themselves within the intestine. Fecal-oral transmission is the most common route through which pathogenic E. coli strains cause disease.
Merck provides a wide range of high quality and highly consistent media for the enrichment, isolation and enumeration of Enterobacteriaceae, E. coli and coliforms. These culture media are available in a variety of formulations as dehydrated culture media in the form of granules.
Merck’s uniquely granulated culture media meet the very highest industry performance standards for media as stipulated in ISO 11133. They are convenient to handle and safe. When used in the lab, granules cause significantly less dust than powdered media. As a consequence, inhalation of hazardous media components that cause allergic responses is less of an issue and contamination of the work environment is minimized. All Merck media are quality controlled according to stringent standards. This guarantees the consistency and high quality of our products.