Campylobacter species are often difficult to differentiate from other bacteria, even when grown on selective media and in micro-aerobic conditions. They can often present polymorphic colonial characteristics and other micro-organisms with similar morphology may also be present - these can often be mistakenly identified as presumptive Campylobacter species. O.B.I.S. campy was developed to overcome these difficulties by screening for Gram status and L-ALA activity. Unlike other Gram-negative micro-organisms, Campylobacteraceae do not possess L-ALA.
O.B.I.S. campy is quick and easy to perform. Gram status is quickly determined by performing a Gram-lysis test on a glass slide with sodium hydroxide. Suspect colonies are then subjected to the L-ALA test by spreading across a reaction zone on the O.B.I.S. campy card. Each reaction zone on the card is impregnated with L-ALA substrate. If L-ALA activity is present, this substrate is hydrolysed and a strong purple reaction is produced on addition of a colour developer. This indicates that the test is negative for Campylobacter, Helicobacter or Arcobacter species. No colour reaction indicates the absence of L-ALA activity and the test can be considered as presumptive positive.
In trials, O.B.I.S. campy has proven to be accurate and reliable in the differentiation of Campylobacteraceae from other micro-organisms, demonstrating a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 99.6%1.
Dr. Alastair Thomas, a senior development Scientist at Thermo Scientific commented "O.B.I.S. campy offers greater confidence in the reporting of Campylobacter. A negative result can be confirmed within just two minutes and it is simpler to perform than traditional methods such as the Gram stain and motility tests. Furthermore, due to the accuracy of the test and easy to read results, O.B.I.S. campy should reduce the number of isolates requiring further investigation."
For further information, contact Thermo Scientific using the contact details at the top of this page.
Smith, C.M., Colborne, N.R., Stephens, P.J. and Druggan, P (2006) A simple and rapid biochemical screening test for the differentiation of Campylobacter spp. from other contaminating micro-organisms. Abstracts of Emerging Campylobacter spp. in the Food Chain, CAMPYCHECK, Feb 8th 2006, Croke park Conference Centre, Dublin, Ireland.