Anaerobic culture media for anaerobic bacteriology 2.8/5 (5)

Media used in the anaerobic bacteriology can be freshly prepared or  purchased from commercial suppliers.   Media for anaerobic culture prepared in the laboratory should be used within 2 weeks of preparation as long storage degrades the quality of the media due to peroxides accumulation and dehydration.  Anaerobic culture media contains reducing agents such as cysteine.

Pre-reduced, anaerobically sterilized media are produced by different commercial suppliers, which have extended shelf life of up to six months. The primary plating media for inoculating anaerobic specimen includes a non-selective blood agar and one or all of the following mentioned selective media.

Non selective media used in anaerobic bacteriology:

  1. Cooked meat broth (e.g. Robertson’s Cooked Meat Medium): Non-selective for cultivation of anaerobic organisms; with addition of glucose, can be used for gas-liquid chromatography.
  2. Anaerobic blood agar: It is a non-selective medium for isolation of anaerobes and facultative anaerobes.
  3. Egg-yolk agar (EYA): Non-selective for determination of lecithinase and lipase production by Clostridia and Fusobacteria.
  4. Peptone-yeast extract glucose broth (PYG): Non-selective for cultivation of anaerobic bacteria for gas-liquid chromatography.

Selective and differential media used in anaerobic bacteriology:

  1. Bacterioides bile esculin agar (BBE): It is selective and differential for Bacteriodes fragilis group and good for presumptive identification.
  2. Laked Kanamycin-vancomycin blood agar (LKV): It is selective for isolation of Prevotella and Bacteriodes spp.
  3. Anaerobic phenylethyl alcohol agar (PEA): Selective for inhibition of gram negative rods and swarming by some Clostridia.
  4. Cycloserine cefoxitin fructose agar (CCFA):  selective for Clostridium difficile.
  5. Thioglycollate broth: Non selective for cultivation of anaerobes; as well as facultative anaerobes and aerobes.

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6 thoughts on “Anaerobic culture media for anaerobic bacteriology

  1. Sir,
    The blog is more informative,,,i have a doubt…is thioglycollate broth n agar good enough for culturing anaerobic organisms..

  2. Sir,
    Thank you for the informative post.. i have a question regarding sodium thioglychollate medium, is there an alternative for the medium because I have hard time getting to it.

    1. Tankeshwar Acharya

      - Edit


      For which organism’s isolation you are searching the alternative? Are you talking about component of Thioglycolate medium (i.e. sodium thioglycolate) or replacement of Thioglycolate medium?

  3. Respected sir!i am a doctor and pulmonology is my field.i want to know that what do you mean by selective and non selective media?what is the difference between two?

    1. Tankeshwar Acharya

      - Edit


      Dear Dr. Affaf
      Thank you for your question. Suppose a person has a pneumonia and two organisms are responsible for pneumonia in this case, say, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Streptococcus pneumoniae. The sputum sample if cultured in non selective media, say Blood Agar, both Klebsiella and Streptococcus will grow, but if it is cultured in selective agar say MacConkey Agar (which inhibits growth of Gram positive bacteria as it contains bile salt and crystal violet), only Klebsiella will grow.
      Based on our requirements, we can make media selective by incorporating antibiotics, or chemicals or rising or decreasing pH, etc.


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