This study compared the performance of a commercial chromogenic medium, CHROMagarECC (CECC), and CECC supplemented with sodium pyruvate (CECCP) with the membrane filtration lauryl sulfate-based medium (mLSA) for enumeration of Escherichia coli and non-E. coli thermotolerant coliforms (KEC). To establish that we could recover the maximum KEC and E. coli population, we compared two incubation temperature regimens, 41 and 44.5°C. Statistical analysis by the Fisher test of data did not demonstrate any statistically significant differences (P = 0.05) in the enumeration of E. coli for the different media (CECC and CECCP) and incubation temperatures. Variance analysis of data performed on KEC counts showed significant differences (P = 0.01) between KEC counts at 41 and 44.5°C on both CECC and CECCP. Analysis of variance demonstrated statistically significant differences (P = 0.05) in the enumeration of total thermotolerant coliforms (TTCs) on CECC and CECCP compared with mLSA. Target colonies were confirmed to be E. coli at a rate of 91.5% and KEC of likely fecal origin at a rate of 77.4% when using CECCP incubated at 41°C. The results of this study showed that CECCP agar incubated at 41°C is efficient for the simultaneous enumeration of E. coli and KEC from river and marine waters
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