The detection of Bifidobacterium adolescentis by colony hybridization as an indicator of human faecal pollution

J Appl Microbiol. 2002;92(3):526-33. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2672.2002.01557.x.


Aims: To develop an improved method for the detection of Bifidobacterium adolescentis as an indicator of human faecal pollution.

Methods and results: Bifidobacterium medium (BFM) was identified as the optimal medium for the recovery of bifidobacteria from human effluent. Dilutions of faeces and effluent from both humans and animals were filtered, grown on BFM and human specific B. adolescentis identified via colony hybridization with a digoxigenin (DIG)-labelled oligonucleotide probe.

Conclusions: The combination of BFM with colony probing allows the detection of B. adolescentis, a specific indicator of human faecal pollution.

Significance and impact of the study: It is now technically feasible to use B. adolescentis as indicators of human faecal pollution, and studies to examine the survival and appropriateness of bifidobacteria in this role can be initiated.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Bifidobacterium / genetics
  • Bifidobacterium / growth & development
  • Bifidobacterium / isolation & purification*
  • Cattle
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Culture Media
  • Digoxigenin
  • Dogs
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / methods
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Sewage / microbiology*
  • Water Pollution*


  • Culture Media
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Sewage
  • Digoxigenin