A new membrane filter medium was developed for the improved recovery of injured coliforms from drinking water. The new medium, termed m-T7, consists of 5.0 g of Difco Proteose Peptone no. 3, 20 g of lactose, 3.0 g of yeast extract, 0.4 ml of Tergitol 7 (25% solution), 5.0 g of polyoxyethylene ether W-1, 0.1 g of bromthymol blue, 0.1 g of bromcresol purple, and 15 g of agar per liter of distilled water. Additional selectivity may be obtained by aseptically adding 0.1 microgram of penicillin G per ml to the medium after autoclaving. In laboratory studies, m-T7 agar recovered 86 to 99% more laboratory-injured coliforms than did m-Endo agar. m-T7 agar also recovered an average of 43% more verified coliforms from 67 surface and drinking water samples than did the standard m-Endo membrane filter technique. From drinking water, m-T7 agar recovered nearly three times more coliforms than did m-Endo agar. Less than 0.5% of the colonies on m-T7 agar gave false-negative reactions, whereas greater than 70% of the typical yellow colonies from m-T7 agar produced gas in lauryl tryptose broth. Most of the verified coliforms isolated on m-T7 agar belonged to one of the four common coliform genera: Escherichia, 17.6%; Klebsiella, 21.7%; Citrobacter, 17.3%; Enterobacter, 32.2%. The results demonstrate that m-T7 agar is superior to m-Endo agar, especially for the isolation of injured coliforms from drinking water
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