Major Veterinary Centre to Increase Throughput of Antibiotic Potency Testing Installing Sixteen ProtoCOL Automated Inhibition Zone Sizing Systems

11 Jan 2008
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Synbiosis, a world-leading manufacturer of automated microbiological systems, is pleased to announce that an internationally recognised centre of excellence in veterinary research, the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), has chosen to install sixteen specially customised ProtoCOL, automated colony counting and zone sizing systems. The systems, which will be sited at every VLA unit across the UK, will be used to speed up testing of veterinary antibiotics for therapeutic use and to collect and monitor zone size data for surveillance purposes.

The VLA ProtoCOL systems, which consist of a computer controlled, high-resolution CCD camera integrated with image analysis software, can read an entire plate, including measurement of inhibition zones and transcription of results, in minutes. This will save VLA’s microbiologists hours of repetitive tasks, as well as improve the accuracy of results by eliminating manual measurement and transcription errors.

The software included with the VLA ProtoCOL is so well designed it can measure inhibition zones with a resolution better than 0.05mm from the edge of an antibiotic disc to automatically produce data on the zone size only. This will save VLA scientists’ time because they will be able to perform tests with different antibiotic disc sizes on one plate without having to measure and subtract disc diameter sizes from their calculations. The VLA ProtoCOL is also fully GLP compliant, with the data generated automatically transcribed into Excel or transferred to the VLA LIMS system to allow results to be safely stored or statistically analysed.

Martin Smith of Synbiosis stated: “Our ProtoCOL’s inhibition zone measurement capabilities were compared extensively against a number of other commercial systems by the VLA so we are delighted such a prestigious agency has decided ours is the best in class for this application. Sixteen is the largest number of installations we currently have at one institute and demonstrates that the ProtoCOL is an intelligent choice for any forward thinking organisation looking to significantly increase the productivity of their antibiotic development programmes.”

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