Saturday, 26 May 2018

Coagulase test

Coagulase is a protein enzyme produced by several microorganisms that enables the conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin. Coagulase binds plasma fibrinogen, causing the organisms to agglutinate or plasma to clot. Coagulase exists in two forms: “bound coagulase” (or clumping factor) which is bound to the cell wall and “free coagulase” which is liberated by the cell wall. Bound coagulase is detected by the slide coagulase test, whereas free coagulase is detected by the tube coagulase test.

Bound coagulase adsorbs fibrinogen from the plasma and alters it so it precipitates on the staphylococci, causing them to clump resulting in cell agglutination. The tube coagulase test detects both bound and free coagulase. Free coagulase reacts with a substance in plasma to form a fibrin clot.

Public Health England has opened a consultation on the standard test method. For details see: UK Government Gateway:

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle

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