Several chromogenic media for detecting coliform bacteria in water are commercially available including Coli ID medium (ID) (bioMérieux) and MUG Plus cefsulodin agar (MP) (Laboratorios Microkit, S.L.). Since little is known about the performance of these media, we have evaluated their usefulness for recovering Escherichia coli and other coliform organisms in groundwaters used for direct human consumption. Variance analysis of obtained data showed that no statistically significant differences in counts of E. coli and other coliforms on ID and MP media compared with reference methods. However, the evaluation of sensitivity and recovery efficiency of both media showed that the two chromogenic media were more sensitive and significantly more efficient (P = ļ0.05) than reference medium for detecting coliforms in groundwater. However, the identification of 400 typical and atypical colonies isolated from ID and MP media demonstrated a higher specificity when using ID for coliforms and E. coli. In summary, the two chromogenic media evaluated could be used as alternative methods to reference media for detecting and recovering coliform bacteria in groundwater samples. MP agar was more sensitive and efficient than ID agar whereas the latter was more specific and selective.

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