Coliform bacteria are a natural part of the microbiology, It can be found in water, soil, other animals, insects, etc. The total coliform group is relatively easy to culture in the lab, and therefore, has been selected as the primary indicator bacteria for the presence of disease-causing organisms.
Coliform bacteria are not disease-causing organisms and are only mildly infectious. For this reason, these bacteria are relatively safe to work with in the laboratory. If large numbers of coliforms are found in water, there is a high probability that other disease-causing bacteria or organisms may be present.
Approved tests for total coliform bacteria include the Membrane filter:
The membrane filter method uses a fine porosity filter which can retain bacteria. The filter is placed in a Petri-dish on a pad with growth enrichment media (mEndo/Rosilic Acid) and is incubated for 24 hrs at 35 degrees Celsius. Individual bacteria cells that collect on the filter grow into colonies. The coliform bacteria have a gold-green color and are counted directly from the dish.
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