The Quantum II, originally designed by Abbott Diagnostics for automated rapid identification of members of Enterobacteriaceae, was adapted for the identification of bacterial fish pathogens. The instrument operates as a spectrophotometer at a wavelength of 492.600 nm. A sample cartridge containing 20 inoculated biochemical chambers is inserted in the path of the analyzing beam. Reactions are converted into a 7-digit octal biocode, relayed via a sensor to the memory module, and compared to biocodes preprogrammed in the memory. An identification is then printed. Presently, the Quantum II is capable of identifying human strains of Aeromonas hydrophila and Edwardsiella tarda. This study was initiated to determine the feasibility of expanding the use of the Quantum II to include identification of bacterial fish pathogens. Ten to 50 isolates of Edwardsiella ictaluri, Serratia liquefaciens, Yersinia ruckeri, Aeromonas hydrophila, typical Aeromonas salmonicida, and atypical Aeromonas salmonicida were utilized to determine optimal incubation conditions, relative stability of the biochemicals, and ability to obtain consistent biocode numbers.
After sorting the octal biocodes from the 169 isolates into groupings using a cluster analysis technique, it was shown by a Chi-square goodness of fit test that isolates of a given species were sorted into the same cluster group at a frequency of at least 99%. Results of this study illustrate the usefulness of the Quantum II BID system for the identification of bacterial fish pathogens not contained within the system's memory module.