Contributor: Susan M. Novak-Weekley, SCPMG Regional Reference Laboratories, North Hollywood, California, USA
(excerpted from 'Methods in Microbiology, Vol. 42: Current and Emerging Technologies for the Diagnosis of Microbial Infections' ,
Chapter 1: Total Laboratory Automation in Clinical Bacteriology, pages 7-9)
One of the first semi-automated plating instruments on the market for use in the clinical laboratory was the Isoplater (Vista Technology Inc., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). [...] Though there are some manual steps associated with preparing the media for placement on the Isoplater this instrument may be a solution for those laboratories that are lower in volume and want to enhance the quality of plating and remove the manual task of streaking the plates which can free up staff for other essential departmental tasks.
These are published studies conducted by some of our customers and industry professionals, Reprints are available on request.
M. Valsorda, P. Lebel, J.-R. LaPointe, L. Kemp, C. Laferriére, «Hôpital Sainte-Justine» and «Université de Montréal»
The ISOPLATER is designed to automate and standardize the streaking of Petri dishes. We have evaluated the ISOPLATER in a large pediatric microbiology laboratory, comparing its automated streaking to the standard manual method.
Two hundred ten specimens were set up both by ISOPLATER and manual methods, using standardized inocula on paired plates incubated indentically: 99 urines (of which 15 were positive), 31 throat swabs, 19 vaginal secretions, 18 sputa, 18 stools, 18 pus, and 10 blood cultures. Incubation was done aerobically and anaerobically as needed by the specimen type.
No differences were observed on paired plates regarding: colony, morphology or numbers, spreading, isolated colonies, background flora, or contamination. Colony sizes were smaller and zones of hemolysis less well-defined on the plates streaked by the ISOPLATER when incubated in air, but no differences were observed when paired plates were incubated in CO2. Streaking delayed up to 30 minutes after inoculation did not change the final results of the culture, as evaluated in 12 urine and 8 throat cultures.
We conculde that the ISOPLATER gave results comparable to those of conventional manual streaking fora good variety of clinical specimens. The automatic streaker was easy to use, reliable and well-accepted by the technologists.
8432 45 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta T6B, Canada
Darryl Gopaul, Leslie Hart, Brenda Cupp, Martin Lee
St. Joseph's Health Centre London, Ontario Canada and Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory, Asheville, North Carolina, USA