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Rapid and Precise Dilutions for the Most Probable Number Test Procedure
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"Rapid and Precise Dilutions for the Most Probable Number Test Procedure"

The most probable number (MPN) or multi-tube method is a statistical method used to estimate the number of viable cells of a particular microorganism in a sample, most commonly food or water.

It is used when samples contain too few bacteria to provide reliable viable cell numbers by classical plate count. Replicates of liquid broth are filled into tubes and inoculated with different amounts of the sample. The bacterial growth is then monitored. Microorganism growth is indicated by a color change, with the tube becoming cloudy or producing gas during incubation. The number of viable microorganisms in the original sample is estimated according to an MPN table, based on statistical probabilities.

This application note from Integra Biosciences describes how to use the Dose It peristaltic pump to speed the pipetting steps of MPN procedures to estimate the number of viable cells in samples with low numbers of bacteria, particularly for screening food and water for pathogens.

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