Evaluation of use of a new chromogenic agar in detection of urinary tract pathogens

Z. Samra*, M. Heifetz, J. Talmor, E. Bain, J. Bahar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CHROMagar Orientation, a new chromogenic medium, was evaluated for the detection and differentiation of gram-positive and gram-negative pathogenic microorganisms in 900 urine samples from hospitalized patients. Performance characteristics of the medium were evaluated in comparison to those of 5% sheep blood and MacConkey agars by direct inoculation of the urine samples on the three media. Four gram-negative and two gram-positive strains as well as one yeast control strain from the American Type Culture Collection were used to ensure quality control. CHROMagar Orientation succeeded in detecting all the urine pathogens that were detected by the reference media, including gram-negative bacilli, staphylococci, streptococci, and yeasts. Colony color and morphology on CHROMagar Orientation accurately differentiated Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter spp. Owing to the similarity in the pigmentation produced by Klebsiella, Enterobacter, and Citrobacter isolates, the medium failed to distinguish among them; however, these isolates were easily recognized as coliforms because of their metallic blue coloration. Staphylococci were clearly perceptible: S. aureus and S. epidermidis grow in regular-size colonies that range from opaque white to yellowish, and S. saprophyticus produces opaque pink colonies. All streptococcus strains, including those from groups B and C, were detected. They grow as undifferentiated fiat dry diffused colonies, and additional tests were required for identification. Enterococci were easily discriminated by their strong turquoise pigmentation and their typical growth on the agar's surface. Yeast grow in typical creamy wet convex colonies. The accuracy of antibiotic susceptibility determinations according to standard methods was also tested by picking isolates directly from CHROMagar Orientation. The results showed excellent correlation with those obtained with microorganisms picked from reference media. Owing to the ease in differentiating mixed flora on CHROMagar Orientation, antimicrobic susceptibility tests were performed directly from primary isolates in all cases without the need for subcultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-994
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1998


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