Bacterial spore detection and quantification methods

Bacterial spore detection and quantification methods

The invented methods are effective for the detection and quantification of bacterial spores in a sample medium. A lanthanide such as europium or terbium is combined with a medium to be tested for endospore content. The lanthanide will react with calcium dipicolinate present in any bacterial spores in the sample medium to produce a lanthanide chelate, specifically, terbium or europium dipicolinate. The lanthanide chelate has distinctive absorbance and emission spectrums that can be detected using photoluminescence testing, for example. The occurrence of emission from the sample medium upon excitation at wavelengths distinctive of the lanthanide chelate thus reveals the presence of spores in the sample medium. The concentration of spores can be determined by preparing a calibration curve that relates absorbance or emission intensities to spore concentrations for test samples with known spore concentrations. The calibration curve can be used to determine the spore concentration of a sample medium using the absorbance or emission intensity for the combined lanthanide-sample medium.
Patent Number: 
5,876,960
Patent Issue Date: 
March 2, 1999
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