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A 44-year-old member asked:

How could you tell if a bacterium fermented either: mannitol, sorbitol, adonitol or arabinose?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Sucher
Trauma Surgery 26 years experience
Need special tests: This is a rather sophisticated question. One that i can only answer in a very simplistic way. Basically, mannitol, sorbitol, adonitol, and arabinose are sugar alcohols. Not all bacteria can process these reduced sugars. The only way to tell is to have special media, each containing only one sugar alcohol with an indicator. Hen the media would be inoculated individually with the bacterium.

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Last updated Nov 22, 2015
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