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Information @ a Glance

  • Blood agar is a nutrient culture medium that is enriched with whole blood and used for the growth of certain strains of bacteria.
  • Blood agar consists of a basal medium such as TSA enriched with 5% defibrinated sheep blood or in some locations, horse blood. This is the most commonly used medium, and supports the growth of most of the common fastidious organisms, as well as, all of the less fastidious organisms.

Blood agar Types

  • Blood agar plate (BAP)
It contains mammalian blood (usually sheep or horse), typically at a concentration of 510%. BAP are an enriched, differential media used to isolate fastidious organisms and detect hemolytic activity. β-hemolytic activity will show complete lysis of red blood cells surrounding colony, while α-hemolysis will only partially lyse hemoglobin and will appear green. γ-hemolysis (or non-hemolytic) is the term referring to a lack of hemolytic activity.
  • Chocolate agar (CHOC)
A type of blood agar plate in which the blood cells have been lysed by heating the cells to 56 C. Chocolate agar is used for growing fastidious (fussy) respiratory bacteria, such as Haemophilus influenzae.


  • Blood agar is used to support the growth of fastidious organisms and to determine the type of hemolysis (destruction of red blood cell walls) an organism produces.
  • CDC Anaerobic Blood Agar is an enriched medium for the growth and partial identification of obligate anaerobes. It also supports good growth of aerobic, facultative anaerobic and microaerophilic organisms found in clinical materials if incubated under the appropriate conditions.
  • Tryptose Agar is used for cultivating a wide variety of fastidious microorganisms, particularly for isolating Brucella. Tryptose Agar with 5% bovine serum, with or without antibiotics, remains a standard plating medium for the isolation of brucellae. For isolation of Brucella stains from contaminated milk, crystal violet (gentian violet) can be added to Tryptose Agar to suppress gram-positive organisms. Tryptose media can be supplemented with thiamine or citrate for the cultivation and maintenance of fastidious aerobic and facultative microorganisms.

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