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Fastidious Bacteria & Blood Agar Plates (BAP)

Fastidious bacteria do not culture easily due to their multifarious nutritional demands. As a result, enriched media BAP are utilized because blood contains the rich nutrients required to support growth of such bacteria and pathogens. BAP can also differentiate bacteria based upon the hemolytic activity presented or isolate fastidious organisms from mixed flora by adding selective agents such as antibiotics. Keep in mind that blood type and concentration can be formulated depending on the tests being performed; however, blood content over 5% can increase cultural response and mask hemolytic activity.

The following blood agar plates are typically utilized for cultivation as follows:

  • 1. Chocolate Agar (Sheep Blood): Neisseria gonorrhoeae; Neisseria meningitidis; Haemophilus influenzae
  • 2. Columbia Agar with 5% Sheep Blood: Escherichia coli (ß-hemolysis); Staphylococcus aureus (ß-hemolysis); Streptococcus pyogenes (ß-hemolysis); Streptococcus pneumoniae (α-hemolysis); Neisseria meningitidis (γ-hemolysis)
  • 3. Tryptic Soy Agar (TSA) with 5% Sheep Blood: Escherichia coli (ß-hemolysis); Staphylococcus aureus (ß-hemolysis); Streptococcus pyogenes (ß-hemolysis); Streptococcus pneumoniae (α-hemolysis); Neisseria meningitidis (γ-hemolysis); CAMP test performed using Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus ssp. Group B, and Streptococcus pyogenes
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