Fastidious Anaerobe Agar is intended as a primary isolation medium capable of supporting most clinically significant anaerobes. The formulation is complex and includes detoxification agents (starch and sodium bicarbonate), growth enhancing agents (L-Cysteine, arginine, vitamin K, sodium succinate, glucose and pyrophosphate), as well as haemin to encourage pigment production in Bacteroides melaninogenicus. The peptone is the source of the required nitrogen, carbon and vitamins. Glucose also acts as a carbon source and sodium pyruvate as an energy source. Sodium chloride maintains the osmotic balance in the medium. Sodium pyrophosphate acts as a buffering agent and sodium succinate improves the growth of organisms such Bacteroides spp.
Supplementation of the base medium with blood (5 – 10%) will provide additional growth factors for the more fastidious microorganisms, and aids in determining any haemolytic reactions.
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