Holding Media for the Transport of Vibrio Cholerae from Field to Laboratory

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  • Epidemiology Program, Center for Disease Control, Pakistan-SEATO Cholera Research Laboratory, Reference Laboratories, Ministry of Health, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, Pakistan

Fecal specimens for culture of Vibrio cholerae may be transported to the laboratory with the expectation of a high rate of recovery, depending on the type of transport medium used. Alkaline, bile-salt, tellurite peptone broth has proved to be the method of choice at the Pakistan-SEATO Cholera Research Laboratory. This medium is ideal for transporting specimens from field to laboratory and for short-term enrichment. Other media are also useful, especially if long delays are anticipated; in this study, alkaline, bile-salt peptone broth with tellurite-impregnated swabs, Cary-Blair medium, and the sea-salt medium of Venkatraman and Ramakrishnan maintained V. cholerae as long as 4 weeks. Buffered glycerol saline solution proved too inhibitory for either short-term or long-term holding.

Author Notes

The Pakistan-SEATO Cholera Research Laboratory is part of the SEATO-Cholera Research Program and is supported by the United States Agency for International Development, the National Institutes of Health, the Center for Disease Control, and by the governments of Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and other SEATO nations. The NIH Cholera Advisory Committee coordinates the research program.