Recent developments in culture media have given rise to the use of chromogenic substrates as a means of differentiating bacteria
particularly among the coliform group of organisms. This is one such medium and has been developed as a selective medium for the isolation and enumeration of Escherichia coli without the need for membranes or pre-incubation. Based on the formulation of Tryptone Bile Agar it incorporates a chromogenic substrate, X-Glucuronide, to detect the ß-glucuronidase enzyme which is specific for the majority of E. coli strains. Approximately, 3-4% of E. coli are glucuronidase negative including E. coli O157.(1) The advantage of the chromogenic substrate is that the reaction is concentrated within the colony resulting in distinctive blue/green colonies of E. coli while the other coliforms produce cream colonies.
The tryptone provides the required carbon, nitrogen and vitamins. Bile salts No.3 is a selective agent against Gram-positive bacteria. X-glucuronide is a chromogenic substrate. Agar is solidifying agent.