Brain heart infusion (BHI) is a nutritious growth medium used to culture a variety of fastidious organisms associated with blood culture work and allied pathological investigations. This nutritious medium has been used to culture pathogenic cocci such as streptococci, pneumococci and meningococci which are can be challenging to grow on ordinary media.It is made by combining an infusion from boiled porcine or bovine heart and brain with a variety of other nutrients.
This medium is frequently used both in clinical and research settings and a number of fastidious organisms, including some anaerobic bacteria, yeasts, and other fungi are able to grow well on Brain Heart Infusion. It is also be used to differentiate between enterococci and lancefield group D streptococci and in the preparation inocula for antimicrobial susceptibility testing
Principle of Brain Heart infusion broth
- The proteose peptone, HM infusion powder (Calf brain infusion from) and BHI powder (Beef heart, infusion from) serve as sources of nitrogen,carbon, essential growth factors, amino acids and vitamins.
- Dextrose (Sugar) serves as a source of energy.
- The disodium phosphate helps in maintaining the buffering action of the medium
- Disodium chloride will maintain the osmotic equilibrium of the medium.
This media can be modify with the addition of 10% defibrinated sheep blood making it useful for isolation and cultivation of Histoplasma capsulatum and other fungi also for the selective isolation of fungi an addition of antibiotics like gentamicin and/or chloramphenicol is recommended
Composition of Selenite Broth
|HM infusion powder (Calf brain infusion from)||12.500|
|Final pH at temperature of 25°C||7.4±0.2|
How to Prepare Brain Heart Infusion Broth and Agar
- Start by suspending 37.0 grams in 1000 ml distilled water.
- Dispense into bottles or tubes or petri dish and sterilize by autoclaving at 15 lbs pressure (121°C) for 15 minutes.
Note that for best results, this medium should be used the same day it is prepared, otherwise, it should be boiled or steamed for a few minutes and then cooled before use.
Appearance of BHI after preparation
It has a light to amber coloured, clear solution without any precipitate in tubes and petri dish
Type of Inoculums
- Food samples
- Water samples
Cultural response after Incubation
Incubation is done at temperature 35-37°C for 24-48 hours
|Staphylococcus aureus subsp. aureus||good-luxuriant|
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- Howard B., Keiser J. F., Weissfeld A. et al, 1994, Clinical and Pathogenic Microbiology, 2nd Ed., Mosby Co.
- Murray P. R., Baron J. H., Pfaller M. A., Jorgensen J. H. and Yolken R. H., (Eds.), 2003, Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 8th Ed., American Society for Microbiology, Washington, D.C.
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