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Posts Tagged ‘ProtoCOL 3’

Successful SfAM Summer Meeting for DWS

Don Whitley Scientific exhibited at SfAM’s Conference last week, held in the BALTIC Arts Centre in Gateshead. SfAM (The Society for Applied Microbiology) offered an open invitation to all scientists with an interest in food microbiology to attend and participate in the event.

The event ran for four days, with Don Whitley Scientific setting up an exhibition stand on the Riverside Terrace of the BALTIC centre for day two. Our exhibition stand featured WASP Touch and ProtoCOL3, two products that are well suited to food microbiology applications. The WASP Touch is Don Whitley Scientific’s latest model of Whitley Automated Spiral Plater, which is extremely simple to use and provides real cost savings and process improvements. The ProtoCOL3 is a next generation instrument for colony counting and zone measuring, which works perfectly with the spiral plates that WASP Touch produces.

sfam prize winner

Olotu was very happy with her prize!

The meeting itself featured a packed schedule of lectures and poster sessions featuring topics from a range of international speakers that revolved around foodborne disease. There was also a social programme that included a barbecue on the Riverside Terrace, an interactive quiz and a conference meal in the restaurant located on the top floor of the conference centre. DWS also provided a prize for the exhibition competition, a picnic rucksack which was won by conference delegate Olotu Ifeoluwa, a food scientist from South Africa.

Social media is beginning to play a big role in how delegates and exhibitors can interact with events. SfAM set up a hashtag on Twitter at  which people could follow to keep up with what was happening at the exhibition. Don Whitley himself even featured on this hashtag as a delegate was keen to get a selfie with him!

This was a great exhibition for DWS to showcase products, with plenty of delegates showing interest in both WASP Touch and ProtoCOL3.


Paper highlights advantages of automated digital colony counters

A paper has been published that investigates the difference between manually counting bacterial colonies and using automated digital colony counters. The automated digital colony counter used in the study was the ProtoCOL3, manufactured by Synoptics and available in the UK from Don Whitley Scientific. 

ProtoCOL3 is an automated colony counter and zone reading system with a high specification digital camera and LED lighting. The system comes with a touchscreen PC on which to analyse sample counts. This data can then be transferred via USB.

The paper in which the ProtoCOL3 is featured is entitled “Evaluation of heterotrophic plate and chromogenic agar colony counting in water quality laboratories(Elsevier. Hallas G, Morris P. Crossref DOI link: Published: 2015) and was published by Gary Hallas (SA Water Corporation) and Paul Monis (The University of Adelaide). Their abstract can be read below and the full paper can be read here.

The enumeration of bacteria using plate-based counts is a core technique used by food and water microbiology testing laboratories. However, manual counting of bacterial colonies is both time and labour intensive, can vary between operators and also requires manual entry of results into laboratory information management systems, which can be a source of data entry error. An alternative is to use automated digital colony counters, but there is a lack of peer-reviewed validation data to allow incorporation into standards. We compared the performance of digital counting technology (ProtoCOL3) against manual counting using criteria defined in internationally recognized standard methods. Digital colony counting provided a robust, standardized system suitable for adoption in a commercial testing environment. The digital technology has several advantages:

• Improved measurement of uncertainty by using a standard and consistent counting methodology with less operator error.
• Efficiency for labour and time (reduced cost).
• Elimination of manual entry of data onto LIMS.
• Faster result reporting to customers.



This paper acknowledges that digital colony counters like the ProtoCOL3 remove the need for manual counting and manual data entry, which can be laborious and time consuming tasks.

If you would like more information on the ProtoCOL3 visit this page or Contact for further information.




Don Whitley Scientific at WMA Winter Meeting

Representatives from Don Whitley Scientific recently exhibited at the WMA (Welsh Microbiological Association) Winter Meeting. The WMA was formed in 1977 and aims to advance the study of microbiology in Wales by facilitating education and communication.

This year’s programme had speakers from various areas of microbiology however the WMA pointed out that there were “fantastic presentations from experts in the field of Cystic Fibrosis from within Wales and further afield”. There were prizes given for the posters on display, the case presentations and also for the young investigator session. The breaks for drinks and meals gave delegates a fantastic chance to network with each other and also the exhibitors, such as Don Whitley Scientific.

On the Don Whitley stand at this years WMA Winter Meeting was the ProtoCOL 3 with software that is able to quickly and efficiently assess the size of zones around antibiotic discs to predict antibiotic resistance levels working alongside a EUCAST database to provide accurate results. The Whitley Jar Gassing System was also on the stand.

Pictured below is Stuart Moore and Joe Walton from Don Whitley Scientific.




Don Whitley Scientific to exhibit new Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing software

The Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) presents a meeting to look at antimicrobial resistance from clinical (medical and veterinary), environmental and economic viewpoints and ask the question: are we doing enough to prevent the predicted scenario of being “cast back into the dark ages of medicine”?. 

David Cameron, UK Prime Minister, echoed the thoughts of many world leaders and scientists when he said that a failure of action now will lead to an “almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine”. This is why Don Whitley Scientific will be proud to present innovative software at the meeting; software to help researchers test how effective antibiotics are against a range of diseases and viruses.

The mASTer software for the ProtoCOL 3 automated zone measurement system is able to quickly and efficiently assess the size of zones around antibiotic discs, predicting antibiotic resistance levels from the results. The software cleverly works alongside a database of all tested organisms that have EUCAST breakpoint values, listing which antibiotics the bacteria are sensitive to, saving a great deal of time compared to the manual method.

The ProtoCOL 3 uses a CCD camera combined with  three colour LED lighting to quickly recognise colonies and produce accurate counts. The results can then be stored in Excel, either on the inbuilt computer processor or on a separate computer via USB connection.

Don Whitley Scientific staff will also be presenting a Whitley Workstation on the stand, and will be available to discuss the wide range of Don Whitley Scientific products, that provide solutions for various scientific applications.