Thin agar layer (TAL) medium was developed at Kansas State University to improve the resuscitation of injured cells and has been shown to result in higher recovery than is obtained with selective media alone for cold-, heat-, salt-, and acid-injured cells. The experiment presented here was designed to determine the effectiveness of the TAL method for the recovery of possibly injured organisms from air. Eleven agar media were used for the experiment: tryptic soy agar (TSA), MacConkey sorbitol agar (MSA), TAL-MSA, Baird-Parker (BP) agar, TAL-BP agar, modified Oxford (MOX) agar, TAL-MOX agar, xylose lysine sodium desoxycholate (XLD) agar, TAL-XLD agar, Yersinia-selective (CIN) agar, and TAL-CIN agar. The TAL plates were prepared by pipetting 6 ml of selective agar into a BBL Rodac plate (65 by 15 mm). Selective agar was allowed to solidify, and then each plate was overlaid with 6 ml of TSA. Selective agar plates were prepared by pipetting 12 ml of agar into BBL Rodac plates and allowing the agar to solidify. Samples were taken at an indoor cattle facility at five separate locations with a BioScience SAS air-sampling instrument. For each plate, 60 liters of air was sampled. Three replications of the experiment were performed. The TAL method resulted in higher counts of microorganisms on all media tested. In addition, 175 isolates were selected randomly and identified in order to test the selectivity of TAL and the selective media for target organisms. The data obtained in this study show that the TAL resuscitation method is effective and necessary for the recovery of airborne organisms that may be injured.

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Author notes

Contribution from the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station, number 01-461-J.