What is an ELEK's Test?

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Definition of the ELEK's Test:

Infection by Corynebacterium diphtheriae is diagnosed using a throat swab. However, the swab contains a mixture of Corynebacterium diphtheriae organisms and normal flora throat organisms. An ELEK test is used to differentiate Corynebacterium diphtheriae organisms from normal flora organisms also called diphtheroids.

ELEK's Test Agar Plate

ELEK's Test Agar Plate:

• Horizontal lines: toxin-producing bacteria to be tested.
• Vertical rectangle: filter paper soaked with antitoxin antibodies.
• White lines: place where the filter paper and bacteria meet are lines of precipitation.

ELEK's Test Agar Diagram

In Corynebacterium diphtheriae, toxin production occurs following infection of a normal flora bacterium with a temperate phage that encodes the toxin - an example of lysogenic conversion. So, the lines marked 1 and 4 are bacteria that contain prophage DNA.

Additional Readings:

Basic Bacteriology

1. Bacterial Locations and Toxins
2. Growth Medias and Oxygen Requirements
3. Staphylococus
4. Streptococcus
5. Enterococcus
6. Bacillus
7. Listeria
8. Corynebacterium
9. Actinomyces
10. Nocadria
11. Mycobacterium
12. Clostridium
13. Neisseria
14. Pseudomonas
15. Legionella
16. Bordetella
17. Francisella
18. Brucella
19. Campylobacter
20. Escherichia
21. Shigella
22. Klebsiella
23. Salmonella
24. Yersinia
25. Proteus
26. Vibrio
27. Pasteurella
28. Haemophilus
29. Bacteriodes and Prevotella
30. Treponema
31. Borrelia
32. Rickettsia
33. Coxiella
34. Ehrlichia
35. Chlamydia
36. Mycoplasma
37. What is an ELEK's Test?
38. Causes of Orchitis
39. What is Leprosy?
40. What is Folliculitis?
41. What is Botulism?
42. How to interpret PPD (Purified Protein Derivative) results?
43. Prenatal Infections

Related Topics

1. Bacterial vs viral infections

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