Note: Evaluation of selective media for the enumeration of Bifidobacterium sp. in milk


Dr A.E.J. Morris, School of Applied Science and Technology, University of Lincolnshire and Humberside, 61 Bargate, Grimsby DN34 5AA, UK (e-mail:


Pure cultures of three species of bifidobacteria (Bifidobacterium longum, Bif. adolescentis and Bif. bifidum), Lactobacillus acidophilus and a mixed culture of Lact. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus were each enumerated on two differential media and six selective media for the enumeration of bifidobacteria. The appearance of the colonies on the differential media was as expected but when mixed cultures were present, it proved extremely difficult to distinguish one species from another. Of the selective media, AMC, RMS, NPNL and BL-OG performed well in that they gave good recoveries of bifidobacteria and were inhibitory to the growth of Lact. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Strep. salivarius subsp. thermophilus and Lact. acidophilus. However, of these four media, AMC was most convenient as it is based on a commercially available medium, whereas the others must be made up from individual constituents. The AMC agar is thus a good choice for the routine enumeration of bifidobacteria from mixed cultures.