Bordet-Gengou agar

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Bordet-Gengou agar is a type of agar plate optimized to isolate Bordetella, containing blood, potato extract, and glycerol, with an antibiotic such as cephalexin or penicillin and sometimes nicotinamide.[1] The potato extract provided nitrogen and vitamins, and potato starch absorbed fatty acids present in nasal secretions or collection-swab cotton that inhibited growth; glycerol was a carbon source.[2] Medical Microbiology, 4th edition[1] states that Regan-Lowe medium[2] (containing charcoal, blood, and antibiotic) has replaced Bordet-Gengou medium as the medium of choice for routine Bordetella pertussis incubation.

Bordetella bacteria were difficult to culture; Jules Bordet and Octave Gengou invented the first version to isolate the coccobacillus, named Bordet-Gengou in 1906, they believed was associated with whooping cough. In 1909, it was not yet established that the coccobacillus was solely the cause.[3]


  1. ^ a b Horst Finger & Carl Heinz Wirsing von Koenig (1996). "Bordetella". In Samuel Baron (ed.). Medical Microbiology (4th ed.). University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. ISBN 0-9631172-1-1.
  2. ^ a b BD Bordet Gengou Agar with 15% Sheep Blood (product insert also describing Bordetella Agar with Charcoal)
  3. ^ Martha Wollstein (January 9, 1909). "THE BORDET-GENGOU BACILLUS OF PERTUSSIS". The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 11: 41. doi:10.1084/jem.11.1.41. PMC 2124697. PMID 19867243.