U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



Published in J Biolumin Chemilumin (1996) 11: 297-301.


A newly developed rapid microbial ATP bioluminescence test IR-mATPI was shown to be an adequate means to assay the microbial load of poultry carcasses. This assay utilizes differential extraction and filtration to separate somatic from microbial ATP in a very rapid timeframe. The assay requires approximately 5 min to complete; approximately 3.5 min to sample and 90 s analytical time. Correlation coefficient (r) between aerobic colony counts and R-mATP test results In (n= 329) was 0.82. Post-test probabilities to correctly classify carcasses with different levels of microbial contamination were as high as 98% for samples of ≥ 3.5 log aerobic CFU per ml. Given the rapidity of this assay, the R-mATP holds potential for monitoring the microbial load of carcasses at poultry-processing critical control points. Other potential applications of this new version of the microbial ATP bioluminescence test are discussed.