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J Med Microbiol. 1999 Dec;48(12):1111-4.

A comparison of blood agar supplemented with NAD with plain blood agar and chocolated blood agar in the isolation of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae from sputum. Bacterial Methods Evaluation Group.

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Public Health Laboratory Service (Midlands), Royal Shrewbury Hospital, London.


Streptococcus pneumoniae grows well and generally exhibits typical morphology on Columbia blood agar, whereas Haemophilus influenzae requires a more complex medium to meet its growth requirements - usually chocolated blood agar - on which S. pneumoniae is less easily recognisable. Therefore, a single medium that produces typical morphology of S. pneumoniae and facilitates the growth of H. influenzae would have considerable potential advantages. It has been claimed that blood agar supplemented with nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is such a medium. However, despite its routine use in several large diagnostic laboratories its performance has never been properly evaluated. In the present study, 1724 sputum samples were examined in four laboratories. The isolation rates of H. influenzae and S. pneumoniae on NAD-supplemented blood agar (SBA) were compared with those on a two-plate combination of plain blood (BA) and chocolated blood agar (CBA). The two-plate combination performed significantly better for both organisms; isolation rates for H. influenzae were increased from 8.16% on SBA to 11.07% on BA plus CBA and for S. pneumoniae from 4.18% to 4.68%. Isolation rates were also compared after incubation for 24 and 48 h. With the two-plate combination, isolation rates for H. influenzae and S. pneumoniae were increased by 0.98% and 0.16%, respectively, and for SBA by 0.57% and 0.32% after 48 h. However, despite this increase, SBA still performed less well than the two-plate combination.

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