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Chapter 4.3 : Culture Media for Anaerobes
The choice of media for use in the anaerobic bacteriology laboratory is important for the success of anaerobic bacteriology. The media must contain appropriate nutrients and supplements needed by clinically significant anaerobes. A combination of enriched, nonselective, selective, and differential media should be used for the initial processing, isolation, and presumptive identification of anaerobic bacteria from clinical specimens ( Fig. 4.3-1 and Tables 4.3-1 and 4.3-2 ) ( 1 - 3 ). Anaerobes have a wide range of nutritional needs; most, however, require hemin and vitamin K. Some studies suggest that freshly pre-pared, properly stored, highly enriched media are essential for recovery of anaerobes ( 4 , 8 ), while another study has shown that prereduced anaerobically sterilized (PRAS) media best support the growth of anaerobes ( 7 ). Recent studies have suggested that using media containing oxyrase may be another alternative ( 9 , 10 ). Media that have been exposed to air contain oxidized products that may delay or inhibit the growth of many anaerobes. The ideal media for use in anaerobic bacteriology, therefore, are those that have had limited exposure to oxygen.