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A45 Workstation at the University of Aberdeen

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Date: 2013-10-21

Dr Ken Forbes, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Aberdeen purchased a Whitley A45 Anaerobic Workstation in December 2011. The main focus of the research group headed by Dr Forbes is population genetics of human bacterial pathogens. There are two broad aims: the study of the origins, evolution and diversity of specific bacterial pathogens at the molecular level and improving the control of these pathogens through the application of molecular and epidemiological tools. Recently studies have focused on Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Escherichia coliO157, Listeria species and Campylobacter.

The A45 Workstation is primarily used for isolating Campylobacter from environmental and food samples by direct plating and by enrichment. The workstation is very easy to use and has only required an adjustment to one of the port closures to date. Campylobacter grows well in the cabinet with an anaerobic mix (5% Oxygen, 10% Carbon dioxide and the balance made up with Nitrogen) and the chamber has the capacity to accommodate the large number of plates required for our work. The colour touchscreen display is user friendly and allows us to easily monitor relative humidity levels within the cabinet.

The laboratory has a service and maintenance contract with Don Whitley Scientific and therefore  the workstation is serviced annually, this provides assurance that the workstation continues to perform correctly with minimal disruption to the processing of large numbers of samples necessary for the research projects. The service engineer Mr Bob Cain is always very helpful and does an excellent job of servicing the workstation.

Minnie Ramjee, Research Technician, added: “I found the people from DWS very helpful and they were keen on explaining the various aspects of the workstations. They were quick at getting back to any queries we had as well.”