DF&A use Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) testing to provide a qualitative indication of the levels of microbiological activity on a given surface. Adenosine Triphosphate transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism, and so is present in all living biological cells. Due to the presence of ATP in all living cells it can be used as direct measure of biological concentration of active (live) microorganisms.
ATP concentration is measured through the reaction of ATP with the enzyme luciferase, which produces light. This can be measured by a luminometer to give a quantifiable measure of biological concentration. The amount of light produced is directly proportional to the quantity of living organisms present in the sample. This is then measured in relative light units (RLU).
DF&A use ATP testing to:
- Give a useful, rapid and qualitative indicator of the overall cleanliness of a surface
- To understand the extent and severity of contamination following foul water events
- Provide contamination/cleanliness testing in a quick and incredibly cost-effective manner
- Gain a qualitative understanding of the viability of mould from surfaces
- To validate the efficacy of decontamination processes
- To guide further avenues of investigation