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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1997 May;63(5):2001-6.

An improved enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for whole-cell determination of methanogens in samples from anaerobic reactors.

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Institute of Environmental Science and Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark.


An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was developed for the detection of whole cells of methanogens in samples from anaerobic continuously stirred tank digesters treating slurries of solid waste. The assay was found to allow for quantitative analysis of the most important groups of methanogens in samples from anaerobic digesters in a reproducible manner. Polyclonal antisera against eight strains of methanogens were employed in the test. The specificities of the antisera were increased by adsorption with cross-reacting cells. The reproducibility of the assay depended on the use of high-quality microtiter plates and the addition of dilute hydrochloric acid to the samples. In an experiment on different digester samples, the test demonstrated a unique pattern of different methanogenic strains present in each sample. The limited preparatory work required for the assay and the simple assay design make the test well suited for routine analysis of large numbers of samples and thus for process surveillance during operation of biogas digesters.

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