Urea Agar Base (Christensen) may be used as an aid in the differentiation of microorganisms, particularly enteric Gram-negative Enterobacteria, on the basis of urea hydrolysis, from clinical samples and other materials. The formula is according to ISO 6579, and ISO 19250. Urea Agar Base, with TSI Agar (Cat. 1046), may be used as a screening medium for the selection of Salmonella and Shigella. Urea Agar Base is used in spot tests for the rapid detection of urease activity and, when combined with results of other quick screening tests, it is the most common method to detect urease production by Enterobacteria. It is particularly recommended for the differentiation of members of the genus Proteus from those of Salmonella and Shigella in the diagnosis of enteric infections. Gelatin peptone provides nitrogen, vitamins, minerals and amino acids essential for growth. Dextrose is the fermentable carbohydrate providing carbon and energy. Sodium chloride maintains the osmotic balance. Monopotassium phosphate provides buffering capacity. Urea is a source of nitrogen for those organisms producing urease. Phenol red is the pH indicator.
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