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Technical Bulletin: ATP vs. CFU

Learn the key similarities and differences between ATP tests and traditional culture-based techniques.

What’s inside

Considering that colony counting has been the most commonly used method of microbial enumeration for over a century, it is no surprise that many folks are interested in knowing how ATP results compare to CFU. Indeed, the two methods do aim to provide similar information and often correlate well in a directional fashion, but there are some critical differences that must be understood. These differences can and often do result in these two methods telling very different stories.

This guide outlines the fundamental aspects of each technology, how they are similar, how they differ, and how to use them most effectively in the context of microbiological monitoring and control.

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