What is MUG test?

MUG stands for 4-Methylumbelliferyl-β-D Glucuronide and it acts as a substrate for the organisms that have the enzyme β-glucuronidase.

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This test is used to make a best guess about the type of Enterobacteriaceae and Escherichia coli that makes verotoxin.

This enzyme is found in 97% of E. coli strains. Salmonella, Shigella, and Yersinia are also in the Enterobacteriaceae family with E. coli, and they all have the enzyme -glucuronidase.

This test is used to quickly find E. coli, which is the most common type of gram-negative rod found in clinical samples.

Since verotoxin-producing E. coli strains are some of the few E. coli strains that don’t make MUG, this test can also be used to find the absence of the enzyme in a faecal isolate of E. coli to alert the microbiologist to the possible presence of a verotoxin-producing strain.

So, the MUG test can be used in the lab to identify and tell these organisms apart.

In 1976, Kilian and Bulow found that 97% of E. coli strains have the enzyme -glucuronidase.

In an evaluation of methods based on microbial enzyme activity profiles, Godsey et al. showed that their findings were correct.

They found that 4-methylumbelliferyl—D-glucuronide (MUG) was both sensitive and specific for detecting -gluc-uronidase activity.

Trepeta and Edberg combined the MUG test with oxidase, indole, and lactose fermentation to find E. coli quickly and cheaply.