Acetamide Utilization Test- Principle, Procedure, Results, Uses


Acetamide (CH3CONH2) is the simplest amide derived from acetic acid. It is an organic compound that can be used as a sole source of carbon by some bacteria. The ability to utilize acetamide by deamidation is a biochemical characteristic that can help in the identification and differentiation of aerobic organisms, especially Gram-negative, non-fermentative bacteria.

Deamidation is the process of breaking down acetamide into ammonia and acetic acid by the action of an enzyme called acylamidase. The ammonia released from the deamidation increases the alkalinity of the medium, which can be detected by a color change of a pH indicator.

The acetamide utilization test is performed on a medium that contains acetamide as the only carbon source and inorganic ammonium salts as the only nitrogen source. The medium also contains bromthymol blue as a pH indicator that turns from green to blue in alkaline conditions.

The acetamide utilization test is commonly used for the differentiation or identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from other non-glucose-fermenting, Gram-negative rods, on the basis of their ability to utilize acetamide. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that can cause various infections in humans and animals. A similar test to the acetamide utilization test is the citrate utilization test, where the organism is identified on the basis of their ability to utilize citrate as a sole source of carbon. This is used for the identification of organisms belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family.