Phage typing is a method used for detecting single strains of bacteria. It is used to trace the source of outbreaks of infections. The viruses that infect bacteria are called bacteriophages ("phages" for short) and some of these can only infect a single strain of bacteria. These phages are used to identify different strains of bacteria within a single species.
A culture of the strain is grown in the agar and dried. A grid is drawn on the base of the petri dish to mark out different regions. Inoculation of each square of the grid is done by a different phage. The phage drops are allowed to dry and are incubated: The susceptible phage regions will show a circular clearing where the bacteria have been lysed, and this is used in differentiation.
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