List of culture media used in microbiology with their uses



·   Alkaline Peptone Water Enrichment media for Vibrio cholerae
·   Alkaline Salt Transport Medium

·   Taurocholate Peptone Transport Medium

Transport media for diarrheal diseases suspected of being caused by V. cholerae
·   Anaerobic Media Liquid media by addition of

·     Glucose (0.5 % to 1 %)

·     Ascorbic Acid (0.1 %)

·     Cysteine (0.1 %)

·     Sodium Merceptoacetate (0.1 %)

·     Thioglycollate (0.1 %)

·     Particles of cooked meat broth

·   Bile Salt Agar

·   Thiosulphate Citrate Bile Salts-Sucrose Agar (TCBS)

·   Monsur’s Tellurite Taurocholate Gelatin Agar

Selective media for V. cholerae
·   Bile Esculin Agar (Contains 40% Bile) Selective media for Enterococcus species (Black coloration of the medium)
·   Blood Agar ·     Enriched media (Supports the growth of fastidious organisms, e.g. Streptococcus)

·     Indicator media to show hemolytic properties of certain organisms (Staphylococcus aureus: β-Hemolytic; Streptococcus pneumonia and S viridans: α-Hemolytic; Enterococcus: Non-Hemolytic)


·   Bordet-Gengou Agar

·   Charcoal Blood Agar

·   Regan-Lowe Medium (Charcoal Agar with blood, cephalexin and Amphotericin B)

Isolation of Bordetella pertussis
·   Brain Heart Infusion Broth Used in blood culture bottles (both adult and pediatric patients)
·   Buffered Charcoal Yeast Agar (BCYA)

·   Feeley Gorman Agar

Specialized media for isolation of Legionella
·   Campylobacter Thioglycollate Broth Selective holding media for recovery of Campylobacter species
·   Castaneda Medium Biphasic medium for the isolation of Brucella
·   Cefoxitin Cycloserine Fructose Agar (CCFA)

·   Cefoxitin Cycloserine Egg-Yolk Agar (CCEY)

Selective media for isolation of Clostridium difficile form suspected cases of pseudomembranous colitis / antibiotic -associated diarrhea
·   Cefsulodin-Irgasan-Novobiocin medium (CIN Medium) Selective media for Yersinia (and may be used for Aeromonas also)
·   Columbia-Colistin Nalidixic Acid agar (CNA Agar) Selective media for the isolation of Gram-positive cocci
·   Cooked meat broth

·   Nutrient agar slopes

·   Semisolid nutrient agar stabs

·   Heated blood agar slopes

In general, used for preservation and storage of bacterial cultures
·   Crystal violet blood agar Selective media for Streptococcus pyogenes
·   Cysteine Lactose Electrolyte Deficient Media (CLED Media) Most commonly used media for culturing urine samples
·   Egg Saline Medium Preservation of cultures of Gram-negative bacilli
·   Egg Yolk Agar Detection of lipase and lecithinase activity of Clostridium species
·   Ellner’s Medium

·   Medium of Duncan and Strong

·   Medium of Phillips

·   Alkaline Egg Medium

Specialized media to induce sporulation in Clostridium
·   Fildes Blood-Digest Agar and Broth

·   Levinthal’s Agar

Enriched media for recovery of Haemophilus influenzae
·   Firm Agar (4% to 6% Agar) Prevents swarming of Proteus mirabilis, P. vulgaris and Clostridium tetani
·   Fletcher’s Agar

·   Ellinghausen and McCullough Medium

·   Ellinghausen-McCullough-Johnson-Harris (EMJH) Media

Solid media for isolation of Leptospira
·   Glycerol Saline Transport Medium Transport stool specimen for typhoid bacilli
·   Heated Blood Agar/Chocolate Agar Growth of fastidious organisms (E.g. Hemophilus influenzae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and S. pneumoniae
·   Hoyle’s Tellurite Lysed Blood Agar

·   Tinsdale Medium

Selective media for isolation of Corynebacterium from throat swabs
·   Loeffler Serum Slope Stimulation of metachromatic granules in Corynebacterium diphtheriae
·   Lowenstein-Jensen Medium

·   Middlebrook Media

Selective media for isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from sputum and other samples
·   MacConkey Agar Differential media for Enterobacteriacaeae (i.e., lactose fermenting and non-lactose fermenting)
·   MacConkey Bile Salt Lactose Agar

·   Brilliant MacConkey Agar

·   Leifson’s Deoxycholate-Citrate Agar (DCA)

·   Wilson and Blair’s Brilliant Green Bismuth- Sulphite Agar (BBSA)

·   Taylor’s Xylose Lysine Deoxycholate Agar (XLD)

·   Hektoen Enteric Agar

·   SalmonellaShigella Agar

Differential and media for isolation of Salmonella and Shigella from stool specimens
·   Mannitol Salt Agar Selective and indicator media for S. aureus
·   Modified Barbour Stoenner Kelly medium (BSK) Specialized media for Borrelia burgdorferi
·   Modified Korthoff’s Medium Liquid media for isolation of Leptospira
·   Modified New York City Medium (contains colistin, lincomycin, trimethoprim, amphotericin B) Selective media for Neisseria gonorrhoeae
·   Mueller-Hinton Agar Performing antimicrobial susceptibility for bacteria
·   Nutrient Agar (1% to 2% Agar) Basal media in microbiology

Supports the growth of all non-fastidious organisms

·   Non-Nutrient Agar Cultivation of parasites (e.g., Acanthamoeba)
·   Peptone Water ·     Basal media for preparation for carbohydrate fermentation media

·     To ascertain whether a bacteria is motile or non-motile

·     Basis for Indole test


·   Phenol-Red Egg Yolk Polymyxin Agar Selective media for isolation of Bacillus cereus from food, feces, and vomitus
·   Pike’s Media Preservation of S. pyogenes, pneumococci, and Hemophilus influenzae in nose and throat swabs
·   Polymyxin B-lysozyme-EDTA-Thallous Acetate (PLET) Selective media for isolation of Bacillus anthracis from soil and other medium materials containing numerous spore formers of other species
·   Polymyxin B, Neomycin, Fusidic Acid Media (PNF) Selective media for S. pyogenes (or β-hemolytic Streptococcus)
·   PPLO Medium (Contains Sterol) Specialized media for Mycoplasma pneumoniae
·   Pre-Reduced Anaerobically Sterilized (PRAS) Media Commercially available media for anaerobic organisms
·   Proteose Peptone-Yeast Extraction Broth Media for carrying out biochemical tests for anaerobes
·   Requirements of X and V Factors Isolation of Haemophilus influenzae
·   Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI) 1640 Medium Cultivation of malarial parasites (i.e., Plasmodium)
·   Robertson Cooked Meat Broth (RCMB) ·      Growth of anaerobes (e.g., Clostridium)

·      Maintaining stock cultures of anaerobic organisms

·   Salt-Cooked Meat Broth (Cooked Meat Broth with 10% NaCl) Enrichment media for isolation of S. aureus from heavily contaminated materials
·   Semisolid Agar (0.05% to 0.1% Agar) Prevents convection current and allows the growth of anaerobic and micro-aerophilic organisms
·   Skirrow’s Campylobacter Medium (contains polymixin B, trimethoprim, vancomycin)

·   Preston Campylobacter Medium (contains polymixin B, rifampicin, trimethoprim)

·   Campy Blood Agar

·   CVA Medium (contains cefoperazone, vancomycin, amphotericin)

Selective media for Campylobacter jejuni
·   Smith-Noguchi Medium Cultivation of nonpathogenic treponemes (e.g., Reiter strain of Treponema phagedenis)
·   Sorbitol MacConkey Agar Isolation of verocytotoxin-producing (enterohemorrhagic) E. coli of 0157 type (as it fails to ferment D-sorbitol)
·   Stuart Transport Media

·   Amies Transport Media

Maintaining the viability of gonococci on swabs during transportation
·   Tetrathionate Broth

·   Gram-Negative Broth

·   Selenite-F Broth

Enrichment media for isolation of Shigella and Salmonella from stool samples
·   Thayer-Martin Medium (contains vancomycin, colistin, nystatin) Selective media for Neisseria gonorrhoeae
·   Thioglycollate Broth

·   Trypticase Soy Broth

All purpose enrichment broth for anaerobes, aerobes, micro-aerophilic, and fastidious organisms
·   Todd Hewitt Broth with Antibiotics Selective and enrichment for Streptococccus agalactiae in female genital specimens
·   Triple Sugar Iron Agar (TSI) Medium Differentiation of various members of Enterobacteriaceae
·   Wilkins-Chalgren Agar Performing antimicrobial susceptibility of anaerobic bacteria


10 thoughts on “List of culture media used in microbiology with their uses”

  1. Hi,

    What would be the preferential culture media(um) for initial isolation of Corynebacterium Pseudotuberculosis from a pus specimen aspirated from an ovine superficial lymph node abscess ?


  2. This is one of the best educative site I’ve ever seen, I had to save it on my home screen, I’m a doctor of pharmacy(PHARM.D) student, and with this, PMB has been all rossy, thanks a million and keep it up.

  3. This note provides an impressive coverage of media that can be used for the detection and isolation of many important pathogens from all forms of samples. Its just adequate for postgraduate students of food, medical and environmental microbiology.

  4. hi, you can easily get d shape of a bacterium grow on culture media by observing under d microscope using its colonies. the only characteristics that u can get from the culture medium are things like, colour, texture (rough, dry, smooth colonies….) e.t.c

  5. Hello

    I would like to ask if maybe you know a special and also an economic culture media for the isolation of Hg-resistant bacteria?

    Thank you

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