Synbiosis launches automated colony identification system for use with CHROMagar

Provides quick, accurate identification and counting of major pathogens

The ProtoCOL 3 colony counter has a new software module

Synbiosis, a manufacturer of automated microbiological systems, has added a new software module for the ProtoCOL 3 automated colony counter.

The Cambridge, UK-based company says the addition of this software makes Protocol 3 the first commercial automatic microbial identification and counter of colonies cultured on CHROMagar plates and means that with minimal training, microbiologists can use the system to identify and enumerate all key clinical, water and food-borne pathogens in less than a minute, saving microbiologists hours of visually inspecting colonies, and manually recording results.

The ProtoCOL 3 system performs these tasks by using patented red, blue and green lighting to capture a life-like colour image of the colonies on the plates. The new software analyses the image and is so sophisticated that it can distinguish between rose pink and dusty pink, as well as recognise turquoise from steel blue. This allows precise identification of common pathogens, including Salmonella spp., Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, E.coli, Group B Streptococci, Listeria spp., Vibrio spp. and Pseudomonas spp.

The system also simultaneously enumerates the different coloured colonies of each species, providing objective, consistent data and reducing operator errors, to generate accurate results which can be stored as images and as Excel spreadsheets.

Kate George, Applications Specialist at Synbiosis said: 'When manually processing large numbers of plates, microbiologists find identifying and counting microbes time consuming, repetitive tasks and have often requested a system that can automate these. Accurately identifying microbial pathogens, as well as enumerating so many types of colonies on different agars is difficult. However, we have worked extensively for several years with CHROMagar and are delighted with the resulting powerful analytical software.'