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Hygicult tests

Hygicult contact slides are intended for rapid monitoring of microbial hygiene on surfaces. Tests can be performed on-site, or the slides can be used as convenient transport media for cultured samples.


Hygicult tests are reliable, economic and timesaving on-site surface hygiene monitoring tests. Hygicult is available in five versions for different customer needs. Hygicult TPC is intended for general hygiene monitoring as most common bacteria, yeasts and moulds can grow on it. Hygicult E and Hygicult E/ß-GUR are intended for the detection of Enterobacteriaceae. Additionally, Hygicult E/ß-GUR differentiates ß-glucuronidase-positive organisms, especially Escherichia coli. Hygicult CF supports the growth of coliform bacteria while the growth of gram-positive organisms is inhibited. Hygicult Y&F is intended for the detection of yeasts and moulds; no bacteria grow on this slide.

Hygicult TPC and Hygicult E dipslides have been validated in a collaborative study in twelve laboratories(1-2). Hygicult TPC validation report has been approved by NMKL/Nordval(3).

Hygicult tests provide you with

  • Ready-to-use on-site tests
  • High quality products
  • Hinged slide for easy surface sampling
  • Easy result interpretation - No counting of colonies
  • Long shelf-life when compared to culture plates
  • Reliable method – validated by AOAC(1,2) and certified by NMKL/NordVal(3)



  1. Salo S, Laine A, Alanko T, Sjöberg A-M, Wirtanen G. Validation of the Microbiological Methods Hygicult Dipslide, Contact Plate, and Swabbing in Surface Hygiene Control: A Nordic Collaborative Study. Journal of AOAC International 2000; 83(6): 1357-1365.
  2. Salo S, Alanko T, Sjöberg A-M, Wirtanen G. Validation of the Hygicult® E Dipslides Method in Surface Hygiene Control: A Nordic Collaborative Study. Journal of AOAC International 2002; 85(2): 388-394.
  3. NMKL 5: 2001. NordVal 018

Technical data

Products available


Sample type Contact inoculation, dipping or swab sample
Time to result Incubation for 1 to 5 days depending on the product and the temperature
Reading of the result Visual, semiquantitative
Storage 18 - 25 °C
Additionally needed

An incubator for Hygicult E/ß-GUR and Hygicult E  


Limit values for microbial count in normal drinking water are too low to be detected by Hygicult method

Registered trademark Hygicult is a registered trademark of Orion Diagnostica Oy.

About the tests

Hygicult TPC is intended for general hygiene monitoring. The slide is covered on both sides with Total Plate Count (TPC) medium that supports the growth of the most common bacteria and fungi. The medium contains neutralising agents making the product suitable to be used in environments where disinfectant chemicals have been used.

Hygicult E contains Violet Red Bile (VRB) medium with addition of glucose. The medium is selective for gram-negative bacteria belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae (e.g. Escherichia, Shigella, Salmonella, Citrobacter, Klebsiella and Enterobacter) and the growth of gram-positive microbes is inhibited. Glucose allows some other species, such as Pseudomonas and Aeromonas, to grow.

Hygicult E/ß-GUR contains two different media. VRB medium with additional glucose is the same as in Hygicult E. The colourless ß-GUR medium supports the growth of ß-glucuronidase producing micro-organisms (especially E. coli), that grow in dark colonies on this medium making the results’ interpretation easy.

Hygicult CF contains VRB agar. The product is intended for detection of lactose fermenting coliform bacteria that can grow in bright red colonies on the medium. The growth of gram-positive bacteria is inhibited.

Hygicult Y&F contains malt agar on both sides of the slide. Malt agar supports rapid growth of yeast and moulds while the growth of bacteria is inhibited. Hygicult Y&F is intended for detection of fungal contaminations.

Documents and materials

Marketing and sales materials

Hygicult Family Brochure (EN)

Hygicult Model Chart (EN)

Hygicult Application sheets

In-house Control Program (EN)

Indoor Swimming Pools and Spas (EN)

Hospital Hygiene (EN)

Hygiene Monitoring: Laundries and Textile Services (EN)

Case Migros (EN)

Case Novorite (EN)


Rapid and reliable tools for monitoring cleanliness in hospitals


Test Procedure Video (EN)


Instructions for use

(For informative use only. Kindly always refer to the latest package insert in the kit.)

Hygicult TPC IFU (GB, DE, FR, ES, IT, NL, DK, SE, FI), 68010

Hygicult E IFU (GB, DE, FR, ES, IT, NL, DK, SE, FI), 68012

Hygicult Y&F IFU (GB, DE, FR, ES, IT, NL, DK, SE, FI), 68013

Hygicult Eβ-GUR IFU (GB, DE, FR, ES, IT, NL, DK, SE, FI), 68267

Hygicult CF IFU (GB, DE, FR, ES, IT, NL, DK, SE, FI), 06036

Safety Data Sheet

Hygicult TPC SDS (EN)

Hygicult E SDS (EN)

Hygicult Y&F SDS (EN)

Hygicult Eβ-GUR SDS (EN)

Frequently asked questions

Can I use Hygicult contact slides for detecting dermatophytes like Trichophyton menatgrophytes or T. rubrum?
Dermatophytes (Trichophyton, Epidermophyton) can infect skin, hair and nails. You may become exposed to dermatophytes at public swimming baths and in other wet areas. However, normal healthy skin does not easily become infected. Dermatophytes grow on malt agar but they cannot ne differentiated by using Hygicult Y&F. Malt agar is a growth medium for all yeasts and moulds.

Is Hygicult suitable for detecting bacteria in water?
The quality of drinking water should be tested according to the laws and regulations in your country. Please contact your local food safety authorities or environmental laboratories for further information.
Hygicult can be used for monitoring sewage waters and cooling towers, but it is not sensitive enough for drinking water. The sensitivity limit for Hygicult TPC is 1000 cfu/ml or cfu/cm2, while the limit for drinking water is < 100 cfu/ml. 

Can Hygicult contact slides be used as a transport medium if a sample needs to be taken to a microbiology lab for further cultivation?
Yes. Hygicult contact slides are excellent for this purpose. 

Can enterobacteria be detected from a sample that has been frozen?
Yes. Enterobacteria can survive when frozen. 

The medium has detached either partially or totally. Why is that? Is the slide still usable?
Do not use the slide. Agar drop-off is most likely due to rough handling during transport. 

Which bacteria strains grow on Hygicult TPC?
Hygicult TPC is covered with Total Plate Count agar which supports the rapid growth of the most common bacteria, yeasts and moulds. A comprehensive study on all possible organisms has not been carried out. It is important to understand that Hygicult TPC is not intended for detection of specific microbes, but it can be used to monitor general hygiene levels or microbial contaminations.

What is the sample volume Hygicult dipslide picks up when dipped?
The volume is estimated to be 40 - 50 μl per slide. 

In which cases is Hygicult more suitable for environmental hygiene analysis than the ATP (luminescence) method?
Hygicult is more suitable if the number of living bacteria is required to be determined and if the source of contamination needs to be identified. The number of living bacteria indicates the hygienic status of a surface and whether it is a potential hazard as items that come into contact with it may become contaminated. 

Do any of  the Hygicult products specifically identify microbes (such as Legionella or other pathogens)?
No, they do not. You need to use pathogen-specific methods. 

What is the surface area of a Hygicult contact slide?
One side of Hygicult contact slide is about 9.4 cm2, and both sides together have a surface area of about 18.8 cm2.

The culture medium has an orange-like appearance. What is wrong? Is the slide still usable?
The slide is unusable. The most probable reason is freezing. When frozen, the tubes most likely contain an excessive amount of water. 

The medium has flattened, although the expiry date has not yet passed. Why is that? Is the slide still usable?
The agar is usable if the medium has shrunk less than 2 mm from the edges of the plastic frame and the meniscus of the agar pad is over the edges.

There is liquid in the tube. Can I use the contact slide in spite of the liquid?
The liquid is water which has condensed from the agar onto the tube walls due to temperature fluctuations. If the volume of water is only droplets and the agar looks normal, you can use the contact slide. You can shake the extra droplets out before closing the tube after sampling. 

What does it mean in practice that Hygicult can be performed “on-site”?
It means that you can do sampling, incubation and interpretation of the results on-site and avoid sending the samples to a lab, thereby also avoiding lab costs. 

The advice is to dispose Hygicult by immersing it in a suitable disinfectant overnight. Is there any disinfectant you can recommend?
Any disinfectant intended for disinfecting surfaces is suitable for this purpose. It is difficult to recommend one because there are a variety of disinfectants available worldwide with different brand names. It is most convenient to use the one which is available in the facility.

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