Introduction

Authored by: Ronald M. Atlas , James W. Snyder

Handbook of Media for Clinical and Public Health Microbiology

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9781466582927
eBook ISBN: 9781466582934
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b16753-2

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Abstract

The definitive laboratory diagnosis of an infectious disease is dependant on the detection and/or the isolation and identification of the pathogenic microorganism or the detection of antigens or antibodies specifically associated with the pathogen. Cultivation of microbes has three major benefits: 1) growth and isolation of flora present in the specimen; 2) facilitates the microbiologist’s efforts to determine which organism(s) is/are most likely responsible for the infection or are contaminants or colonizers; 3) obtain sufficient growth for use in assessing cultural characteristics and definitive identification. Traditional methods for the identification of pathogens depend on microscopic observations, phenotypic characteristics observed in culture, and metabolic changes following growth in a variety of substrates. Many differential media and selective media utilize color changes to highlight specific cultural features or substrate utilization. These growth-dependent methods provide a reliable and relatively accurate means for identifying the pathogen in promoting the laboratory diagnosis for many infectious diseases.

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