Design Example

Most Probable Number

Most probable number is a number which represents the bacterial density which is most likely to be present. E.Coli is used as indicator of pollution. E.Coli ferment lactose with gas formation with 48 hours incubation at 35°C. Based on this E.Coli density in a sample is estimated by multiple tube fermentation procedure, which consists of identification of E.Coli in different dilution combination. MPN value is calculated as follows:

Five 10 ml (five dilution combination) tubes of a sample is tested for E.Coli. If out of five only one gives positive test for E.Coli and all others negative. From the tables, MPN value for one positive and four negative results is read which is 2.2 in present case. The MPN value is expressed as 2.2 per 100 ml. These numbers are given by Maccardy based on the laws of statistics.