The Microbact 24E (MB24E) system is a commercial microsystem for the identification of common clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae and non-fermenting Gram negative bacilli, and consists of dehydrated substrates distributed in the wells of microtitre trays. This system was compared with the API20E for the identification of 386 bacterial isolates, which included 284 clinical and 102 environmental organisms. There was 97% and 91% agreement for the identification of clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae and other Gram negative bacilli, respectively. The identification of environmental isolates by both systems was less satisfactory. The API20E has a more extensive database than the MB24E and is thus more reliable for the identification of rare or unusual organisms, but the MB24E is cheaper, is easy and convenient to use, and is suitable for a routine microbiology laboratory.
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