Direct plating typically occurs by preparing a homogenate of the test sample and using a portion to inoculate agar plates selective for a given pathogen. Background organisms that can grow on the same agar can confound the process, making it difficult to isolate the target pathogen. Also, injured or stressed cells may not grow at all. Thus, the reliability of this method varies based on the type of sample, state of the target pathogen, and presence of other microbial flora.
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