The objective of the present study was to develop a new selective, differential and cost-effective medium (Kim and Rhee - KR-medium) for the isolation of Cronobacter spp. In this new medium, which contained salicin as a differential agent, Cronobacter spp. generated typical colonies with characteristic violet-colored centers surrounded by a transparent to opalescent border, and the growth of other microorganisms (40 strains) was inhibited or produced visually distinguishable colonies. Using healthy and heat- and desiccation-injured cells, the quantity of nutrients was adjusted to determine the optimal recovery rate, selectivity, differentiation and cost-effectiveness. Peptone and salicin concentrations were established as 10 and 8. g/L, respectively. The KR medium was then validated using salicin fermenting organisms, including Cronobacter spp. (52 strains), Enterobacter cloacae (50 strains) and Klebsiella pneumonia (10 strains) isolated from clinical and food specimens. All strains of Cronobacter spp. produced typical colonies and other salicin fermenting organisms were easily distinguishable from Cronobacter spp. with the exception of 2 E. cloacae strains. The verification of KR medium was carried out in powdered infant formula artificially inoculated with healthy, heat-injured, and desiccation-injured Cronobacter spp. and the expected typical colonies were appeared. The KR medium had a high specificity (98%) and sensitivity (100%), with no false-negative results. Moreover, we show that the cost of the KR medium is much lower than that of other selective and differential media. The use of the KR medium for the selective isolation of Cronobacter spp. in laboratories and food industry settings may therefore lessen the financial burden of Cronobacter spp. detection.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a Korea University Grant . The authors also thank the Korea University Food Safety Center for allowing the use of their equipment and facilities, and Dr. Lee of Korea University Medical Center for providing isolated strains of Enterobacter cloacae and Klebsiella pneumonia.
- Cronobacter spp.
- Selective and differential medium