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Updated: Aug 19 2022

Special Culture Requirements

  • Overview
    • Haemophilus influenzae
      • chocolate agar
        • factor V (NAD+)
        • factor X (hematin, a precursor of hemin)
    • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
      • Thayer-Martin (VPN) media
      • selects for N. gonorrhoeae growth only
        • vancomycin
          • inhibits gram-positive organisms
        • polymyxin
          • inhibits gram-negative organisms
        • nystatin
          • inhibits fungi
    • Mycoplasma
      • cholesterol
    • Salt
      • Staphylococcus aureus can grow in high levels of salt
      • Vibrio spp. requires NaCl to grow and grows in 6.5% NaCl
      • Enterococci (group D streptococci) grows in 6.5% NaCl
        • differentiates from non-enterococcal group D strepococci (S. bovis)
    • Bile
      • group D streptococci can grow in bile (both Streptococcus bovis and Enterococci)
      • Klebsiella can grow in bile
    • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
      • Löwenstein-Jensen agar
    • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
      • Eaton's agar
      • Mycoplasma must be given a long time to grow
    • Bordetella pertussis
      • collect culture with calcium alginate swab
      • Regan-Lowe medium
      • Bordet-Gengou (potato) agar
        • "BORDETella"
    • Corynebacterium diphtheriae
      • Cysteine-tellurite agar
        • forms metachromatic granules detected with methylene blue stain
      • Löffler's media
    • Fungi
      • Sabouraud's agar
        • especially used for dermatophytes
      • fungi causing systemic infections must be given a long time to grow!
        • e.g. Blastomyces, Histoplasma, Coccidioides
    • Legionella
      • charcoal yeast extract agar with cysteine and iron
    • Cysteine required
      • Francisella
      • Brucella
      • Legionella
      • Pasteurella
    • Lactose-fermenting enterics
      • MacConkey's agar
        • pink colonies
        • due to acid production by fermentation
        • contains bile to inhibit growth of unwanted organisms
      • EMB agar (eosin-methylene blue)
        • also used to differentiate lactose-fermenting bacteria
        • Escherichia coli appears with metallic green sheen
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