Head-space gas-liquid chromatography showed that Escherichia col are consistent in their ability to ferment arabinose with the production of ethanol. In both still and shaken cultures ethanol production is closely aligned with growth. Also ethanol production is related to inoculum size so that varying sizes of inocula may be distinguished by choosing a time of sampling early in growth. The method is suitable as a rapid test for E. coli and is applicable for use in detecting E. coli urinary tract infections.
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