If you are considering implementing rapid microbial methods in your quality control lab, it is important to note that RMMs approach the detection of growing colonies using different methods. Not all systems are appropriate for every type of microbial test, and some systems may provide a rapid result, but will require additional steps or resources.
It is important to understand your business’ specific needs and measure any new technology against those needs. Some points of consideration are the level of automation of the method and the preservation of microcolonies.
Many growth-based systems use conventional media and incubation to determine results.This method most closely aligns to the traditional test methods, and could streamline user adoption and validation. In addition, growth based methods provide flexibility across applications, including environmental monitoring, bioburden testing and sterility testing. Employing a rapid method that is growth based may not provide the most rapid result, but will preserve any growing colonies for any investigations. When an out out-of-specification level occurs, microbiologists can opt to leave the sample for further incubation or output the cassette of interest for further examination without the need for re-cultures. This also allows microbiologists to more rapidly pinpoint the root cause and take corrective actions.
As mentioned above, RMMs vary in the method, and also in the use of automation. Automated RMM technology leverages robotics and software to automate testing. Some automated technologies, like the Growth DirectTM System, use this type of technology to automate the traditional test, providing results in about half the time, and making interim counts easily available, allowing microbiologists to realize benefits including immediate access to interim counts, reduced errors and labor efficiency.
A Perfect Combination
Automated, non-destructive growth-based RMM provides significant versatility. It automates current traditional tests allowing for results in about half the time, and preserving colonies for further investigations when necessary.
If you are looking to simplify QC microbial testing, to uncover results faster and to improve lab efficiency, download our latest guide, Improving Quality Control Microbial Testing: Automated, Growth-Based RMM.