Nitrobacter and Nitrosomonas were isolated in pure cultures from two large waste water treatment plants in the Stockholm area. Using the hybridoma technique, monoclonal antibodies were produced specific for Nitrobacter and Nitrosomonas respectively. Using a competitive ELISA (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay) we can estimate cell numbers in pure cultures of the bacteria as well as in activated sludge. The antibody directed against Nitrobacter was tested with sludge from several waste water treatment plants in the Stockholm area and is able to recognise Nitrobacter, indicating a common epitope. There is a good correlation between activity measurements and cell number estimations in activated sludge indicating that we have the necessary tools to further develop a method for the quick and reliable detection and quantification of Nitrobacter and Nitrosomonas.

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