Lab M has added a modified MacConkey Agar to its range of dehydrated culture media. MacConkey Agar No.2 contains bile salts No. 2 for the recognition of Enterococci and is especially useful when these organisms are present alongside coliforms and non-lactose fermenters in water, sewage and food products.

Enterococci appear on MacConkey Agar No.2 as small, intensely coloured, red-purple colonies. Colonies of non-lactose fermenters appear colourless, while bile tolerant Gram-positive organisms, such as Staphylococci and non-faecal Streptococci, are completely inhibited.

Able to tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions, enterococci are frequently sought as indicators of faecal pollution. To ensure public health, raw, potable and waste water needs to be carefully and efficiently monitored for microbial contamination. Enterococcus species are also responsible for many clinical infections including those of the urinary tract, bacteremia, bacterial endocarditis, diverticulitis, and meningitis.