The BACTcontrol, a microLAN instrument, measures on-line bacterial enzyme activity in food and aquatic samples. Besides ß-DGlucuronidase, ß-Galactosidase and ß-Glucosidase to measure E.coli, Coliform and Enterococci activity respectively also alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity is measured to determine Total Activity. The BACTcontrol TA test measures the metabolism activity of ALP enzyme that is produced in most of the well known aquatic microbial cells using the (MUP) fluorescent substrate. In general, BACTcontrol can be used to trigger alarms when significant microbiological changes are seen in the water. The alarm can be used to take an automatic action or a sample which can be properly stored and used for specific microbiological investigations in the lab.
The objective of this study, which was carried at microLAN company in Waalwijk and Aigües de Barcelona and CETaqua in Barcelona, was to validate the results obtained from the BACTcontrol biosensor and to see if the instrument measures alive or dead bacteria.