The term “Instantaneous Microbial Detection” is used to define a process that provides immediate quantification of microbes present in a specified volume of air. By inference, Instantaneous Microbial Detection can also be continuous, as opposed to episodic.
Instantaneous Microbial Detection is often compared with “Rapid Microbial Detection” or “Rapid Methods.” As the difference between the term “Instantaneous Microbial Detection” and the two other terms infer, irrespective of how “rapid” a method is, it cannot, by its nature, be instantaneous or continuous. The primary reason for this is that Rapid Microbial Detection methods still use chemical methods such as staining reagents, or grow microbes (albeit, rapidly), whereas Azbil BioVigilant’s instantaneous microbial detection instruments use optics to determine the presence or absence of microbes, with no staining reagents and no growing of cultures. As a consequence, Instantaneous Microbial Detection is not another “rapid method”, but rather, an entirely new technique, and provides an entirely new set of tools for monitoring and reacting quickly to microbial contamination. The limitations of Instantaneous Microbial Detection include that this method cannot identify the presence of viruses and it does not, by itself, identify the genus or species of microbes. If speciation is desired, standard culturing or a rapid culturing method should be used after the IMD instrument signals a detection alert.
Instantaneous Microbial Detection is appropriate for applications that have the following attributes:
- There is a desire to know the level of microbial contamination. (Generally, this occurs in places where culturing or “rapid methods” are now employed.)
- There is value in knowing the results instantaneously, as opposed to waiting, in the best case, for several hours, or more commonly, for several days.
Additional Instantaneous Microbial Detection advantages include that there is very little preparation or human intervention required, and Azbil BioVigilant’s IMD instruments can monitor continuously, as opposed to existing methods where tests are performed episodically.