Common Fungal Culture Media and Their Uses

Fungi can be recovered from clinical specimens only if they are cultured in two general kinds of culture media. There should be two types of media: one should be non-selective (like brain heart infusion agar), allowing almost all clinically important fungi to grow, and the other should be selective, designed specifically to isolate particular pathogenic fungi of interest. In this article we briefly discuss about common fungal culture media and their uses.

Brain-heart infusion (BHI) agar

Czapek dox agar

Inhibitory mold agar (IMA)

Mycosel/Mycobiotic agar

Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA)

SABHI Agar Base

Sabouraud’s dextrose agar

Common Fungal Culture Media and Their Uses

Figure 1: Common fungal culture media and their uses

A battery of different media should be used in order to achieve the best possible recovery of the fungal pathogen. The following are some of the recommended media. Media containing or not containing cycloheximide (cycloheximide is added to inhibit the growth of rapidly growing contaminating molds. Whether the medium contains or does not contain an antibacterial agent (chloramphenicol, gentamicin, and ciprofloxacin are commonly used antibacterial for this purpose). To kill contaminating bacteria species, antibacterial agents can be used. Antibacterial media are not required if the sample is taken from an uncontaminated site.

Common Fungal Culture Media and Their Uses

Figure 2: Common Fungal Culture Medias

1. Brain-heart infusion (BHI) agar

BHI agar, also known as brain-heart infusion agar, is a non-selective fungal culture medium that supports the growth of virtually every clinically important fungus. It is utilised in the process of reclaiming saprophytic and dimorphic fungal species.

2. Czapek dox agar (CZA Agar)

Czapekdox agar is an example of a semisynthetic medium. It is characterised by the presence of sodium nitrate, which is the only source of nitrogen in the medium. In order to perform differential diagnosis, it is used to subculture Aspergillus.

3. Inhibitory mold agar (IMA)

The term “inhibitory mould agar” refers to an enriched medium that typically contains chloramphenicol and various forms of gentamicin (IMA). It is conducive to the development of a wide variety of fungal species. On the other hand, because it possesses antibiotic properties, it might also prevent the growth of bacteria. It is utilised in the process of recovering morphologically distinct pathogenic fungal species. It won’t be put to use in the process of recovering dermatophytes and saprophytic fungi.

4. Mycosel/Mycobiotic agar

Mycosel/Mycobiotic agar is typically prepared using Sabouraud’s dextrose-agar supplemented with either cycloheximide or chloramphenicol. It is put to use in the process of recovering dermatophytes.

5. Potato Dextrose Agar

Potato Dextrose Agar, also known as PDA, is a popular medium for the growth of fungi. Potato and dextrose are infused together to produce this substance. Acid or antibiotics can be added to the mix as a supplement in order to suppress the growth of bacteria. It is put to use in plate counting methods, which are utilised in the testing of foods, dairy products, cosmetics, and other food items for the presence of bacteria.

6. SABHI Agar Medium Base

Sabouraud’s Heart Infusion (SABHI) agar is used for the primary recovery of dimorphic and saprophytic fungi, in particular fastidious strains.

7. Sabouraud’s dextrose agar

Sabouraud’s Agar suffices to find dermatophytes or yeasts in skin samples or genital cultures. It shouldn’t be used as the main medium for isolating organisms, especially since it isn’t rich enough to find hard-to-find pathogens. Fungi grown in enriched media can be grown again in Sabouraud’s dextrose-agar at a concentration of 2%. It is meant to make more spores and give the colony a more distinctive shape.