A novel method using biological materials to achieve an-aerobiosis was developed by Adler and Crow (26). Sterile suspensions of membrane fragments derived from Esche-richia coli were able to remove oxygen rapidly and efficiently as a result of the presence of a cytochrome-based electron transport system that transfers hydrogen from suitable donors in the bacteriological media to oxygen and produces water as an end product. The membranes are stable, nontoxic, and active in both liquid and solid media. The history of the development of this concept and manufacturing of membrane fragments were described recently by Adler and Spady (27). The commercial product is named Oxyrase and marketed by Oxyrase Inc. (Mansfield, Ohio). Fung et al. (42) described the use of Oxyrase to stimulate the growth of Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jejuni, E. coli O157:H7, etc. to high numbers (106 CFU/mL) so that secondary detection methods such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and DNA/RNA probes can detect the presence of these facultative anaerobic pathogens much faster for food safety concerns. Fung et al. (42) also detailed the use of Oxyrase and membranes derived from Acetobacter and Glucono-bacter to stimulate the growth of starter cultures to produce fermented food faster. Claerbout (34) described the applications for bacterial membrane fragments in sterile pharmaceutical quality control. Thurston and Gannon (58) made a detailed comparison between Oxyrase anaerobic agar plates and conventional anaerobic chambers for the isolation and identification of anaerobic bacteria from clinical infections and concluded that Oxyrase is a valuable compound for anaerobic cultivation of bacteria.
The future of membrane fragments for anaerobic cultivation of microorganisms from food, clinical, industrial, and environmental samples is very bright.
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