Biggy Agar is the abbreviation for Bismuth Glucose Glycine Yeast Agar. It is used to isolate and differentiate Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis, and to differentiate the species according to the Nickerson method. Nickerson discovered that Candida albicans can be differentiated from other Candida spp. on this medium based on colony morphology. Yeast extract is a source of vitamins, particularly of the B-group essential for growth. Glycine stimulates growth. Dextrose is the fermentable carbohydrate providing carbon and energy. Candida spp reduce bismuth sulfite to bismuth sulfide forming brown to black colonies. Bismuth ammonium citrate and Sodium sulfite inhibit bacterial growth without affecting the growth of Candida species. The different species of Candida produce different kinds of infections. Candidiasis, the most commonly encountered opportunistic fungal infection, is mostly caused by Candida albicans. Candida tropicalis and Candida glabrata infections occur less often. Candida spp are present in clinical specimens resulting from environmental contamination, colonization, or a disease process.
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