Development and evaluation of a selective and differential medium for the primary isolation of Peptostreptococcus micros

B. F. Turng, J. M. Guthmiller, G. E. Minah, W. A. Falkler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Peptostreptococcus micros, an anaerobic gram-positive coccus, has been associated with periodontal and endodontic lesions, including those refractory to treatment, as well as many human polymicrobial infections in other body locations. A selective and differential medium for the primary isolation of R micros was developed and evaluated. Columbia CNA agar, a selective medium for gram-positive cocci, was supplemented with glutathione and lead acetate (P. micros medium: PMM). R micros has a characteristic of rapidly utilizing the reduced form of glutathione to form hydrogen sulfide, which reacts with lead acetate producing a black precipitate in the medium. When grown on PMM, P. micros can be easily identified by its typical colonial morphology and the presence of a black precipitate directly under the colony. PMM was compared for the growth of P micros with phenylethyl alcohol agar (PEA) and Columbia base medium (CBM) with 80 strains of P. micros and 30 strains of other gram-positive cocci. All P. micros isolates tested grow and showed the typical morphology of R micros on PMM. Using colony counts on CBM as controls, there was an average 81.8% recovery in the number of R micros colonies on PMM, in contrast to an average 6.1% recovery on PEA. Subgingival plaque and tongue samples from 12 adult periodontitis and 6 early-onset periodontitis patients were cultured onto PMM for the isolation of R micros. R micros was isolated on PMM and identified biochemically and enzymatically from both adult periodontitis and early-onset periodontitis patients with higher percentages isolated from the diseased periodontal pockets of adult periodontitis patients; furthermore, this is the first isolation of P micros from tongue samples taken from periodontally diseased patients. This medium in cultural studies will further our understanding and assist future investigations of P. micros involved in disease processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-361
Number of pages6
JournalOral Microbiology and Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaerobe
  • Endodontic disease
  • Peptostreptococcus micros
  • Periodontal disease
  • Selective medium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)


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