This technique detects the level of active leaching microorganisms by measuring the ATP present in them. This is done by an enzymatic reaction with Luciferin/Luciferase, enzyme that the fireflies have to produce their characteristic light. On this technique, the produce light is proportional to the amount of microorganisms present in the solution.
The method comprises the following steps:
||Concentrating acidophilic microorganisms from a given volume of aqueous sample;
||Removing the inhibitory agents for the bioluminescence reaction by washing the previously concentrated acidophilic
microorganisms by means of two treatments with aqueous washing agents; and
||Extracting adenosine-triphosphate (ATP) from the acidophilic microorganisms and measuring the generated light by such ATP by means of a luminometer.