Product number: 7421

m-TEC Agar is used with urea for the isolation and enumeration of thermotolerant Escherichia coli from water using the membrane filtration technique in a laboratory setting. m-TEC Agar is not intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions in humans.

Escherichia coli is used as an indicator of fecal pollution in water. Several tests are available for enumerating E. coli based on its ability to grow at elevated temperatures and indole production. The membrane filter procedure is recognized in Standard Methods as an alternate test procedure. m-TEC is an abbreviation for membrane thermotolerant E. coli.

In 1981, Dufour et al. developed a simple and accurate membrane filter technique for rapid enumeration of E. coli. In this study, the researchers were able to quantitate E. coli on m-TEC Agar within 24 hours without requiring subculture and identification of isolates. Dufour et al. recovered E. coli from marine, estuarine, and fresh water samples.


Formula Liter
Enzymatic Digest of Animal Tissue 5 g
Yeast Extract 3 g
Lactose 10 g
Sodium Chloride 7.5 g
Potassium Phosphate 4.3 g
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate 0.2 g
Sodium Deoxycholate 0.1 g
Bromcresol Purple 0.08 g
Bromphenol Red 0.08 g
Agar 15 g

Final pH: 7.3 ± 0.2 at 25°C
Formula may be adjusted and/or supplemented as required to meet performance specifications.


m-TEC Agar

  1. Suspend 45.3 g of the medium in one liter of purified water.
  2. Heat with frequent agitation and boil to completely dissolve the medium.
  3. Autoclave at 121°C for 15 minutes.
  4. Dispense 4 – 5 mL amounts into 10 x 50 mm Petri dishes, allow to solidify.

Urea Substrate

  1. Combine 2 g urea and 10 mg phenol red in 100 mL purified water.
  2. Adjust pH to 5.0 ± 0.3
  3. Store at 2 – 8°C. Use within one week.

Note: Other methods may recommend an alternative pH. Prepare substrate according to recommended guidelines.

Order Details

Product # Product Description
7421A m-TEC Agar, 500 g
7421T m-TEC Agar, 5 kg
7421C m-TEC Agar, 10 kg

Reference Material

7421 - m-TEC Agar, Product Information Sheet [English] [Portuguese]

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