Helix Biological Laboratory
Exceeding your laboratory testing expectations

Microbiological testing and analysis encompasses a multitude of different areas that each requires specialized testing. Testing for bacterial contamination alone involves the ability to process various types of samples along with the capability to detect bacteria of every description. At Helix Biological Laboratory, we do not restrict ourselves to a limited number of microorganisms, but rather provide services for detection and identification of an extensive list of microorganisms. Our comprehensive approach to detecting and identifying microorganisms allows us to provide services that meet the requirements for a variety of types of clients and their specific needs. Here are just a few examples of the kinds of microorganism analysis that we perform:

Food Spoilage Bacteria

Food spoilage is the deterioration of quality that comes from biological, chemical, or physical changes in the food. In some instances, spoilage may be the direct result of contamination caused by bacterial pathogens.  Meats, dairy products, grains, along with fruits and vegetables are all subject to spoilage by different types of bacteria, fungi, yeast and molds. The vulnerability of food to spoilage makes quality control a very important issue in the food and agricultural industries. In the case of food items, our laboratory has the capability to detect and identify a wide variety of food spoilage bacteria, that includes, but is not limited to, E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella, Shigella as well as Campylobacter, Clostridium perfringens (a common cause of spoilage in meat & poultry) and Bacillus cereus (spoils milk & cream). We also perform testing for numerous types of fungi, yeast and molds.


Water Contaminating Bacteria

Water is another source that is frequently contaminated by microorganisms, and warrants quality control monitoring. In regard to water quality analysis, our laboratory provides a number of different types of testing services. One of the services we provide is a test for fecal indicator bacteria, whereby we analyze water samples for the presence or absence of Bacteroides and Enterococci bacteria. Since Bacteroides and Enterococci are normal inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and animals, the presence of these bacteria indicates that fecal deposits have contaminated the water source, from which the sample is derived. This is cause for concern because although the fecal indicator bacteria themselves do not present a danger as pathogens, fecal deposits may contain pathogenic microorganisms that do cause disease. In addition, to fecal indicator bacteria analysis, our laboratory also provide testing services for detection and identification of a number of pathogenic bacteria found in water that includes Diarrheagenic forms of E. coli, Aeromonas, Shigella dysenteriae, Vibrio cholera and Salmonella typhimurium, as well as many types of protozoans, fungi and viruses.

Wine Spoilage Microorganisms

Wine products may succumb to spoilage by select types of bacteria and yeasts. These organisms produce organic compounds such as acetaldehyde, acetic acid, hydrogen sulfide and dimethyl sulfate as metabolic by-products, and the presence of these bacteria and yeasts in wine can adversely affect the flavor and taste of wine. Generally, types of acetic acid bacteria, particularly Acetobacter and  Gluconoacetobacter, along with lactic acid bacteria like Pediococcus and Lactobacillus species are the types of bacteria that are the most problematic in causing wine spoilage, while certain yeasts such as Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Zygosaccharomyces bailii are the types of yeasts that are most often responsible for tainting wine. At Helix Biological Laboratory, we have put together a comprehensive assay for this entire panel of bacteria and yeasts that allows us to simultaneously detect the presence of each of these wine spoilage specific microorganisms.


Agricultural Samples

Plants, along with the fruits and vegetables that they produce, are vulnerable to a variety of types of microorganism pathogens. The outbreak and spread of disease in plants by these pathogens can be difficult to diagnose and control and become devastating if the left unchecked. Our laboratory provides testing services for a number of microorganisms that can infect plants or contaminate soil and irrigation water supplies. Among the organisms that we have the capability to test for include Pseudomonas, Xanthomonas and Erwinia bacteria. By establishing testing protocols that allow for early detection of these and other plant pathogens, helix Biological laboratory is able to provide assistance to those in the agricultural industry and raise the level of quality standards.



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