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Identification of glucose non-fermenting rods (BSOP ID 17)

AbstractThis National Standard Method (NSM) includes the identification of Pseudomonas species,
Burkholderia species and other glucose non-fermenting Gram-negative bacilli that have been
associated with human infection. It describes the identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and
Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) from selective media, and members of this diverse group of
organisms from a variety of primary isolation media.

The bacteria described in this NSM are aerobic and non-sporing. They may oxidise glucose and are catalase-positive. Some species are able to grow anaerobically in the presence of nitrate, and many produce water-soluble pigments.

Colonies on primary isolation media are presumptively identified by colonial morphology, Gram stain, oxidase activity and pigment production. The oxidase reaction is an important discriminatory test. Oxidase positive, glucose non-fermenting, Gram-negative bacilli such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa may be termed as “pseudomonads”. Further identification is determined by further phenotypic tests and/or referral to a suitable Reference Laboratory. All identification tests are ideally performed from non-selective agar.

Non-fermenting Gram-negative bacilli are associated with a wide range of infections, predominantly of nosocomial origin. Such infections usually occur in patients with identifiable defects of local and/or systemic immunity. These bacteria can be isolated from a wide variety of environmental sources and can cause infection via contaminated medical devices or “pseudo-infection” due to their survival/growth in blood sampling tubes or laboratory media.
Date of publishing05/01/2005
Date of last revision by publisher04/02/2007
Date of last review by us01/06/2011
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