Brain Heart Infusion (BHI) Agar- Composition, Principle, Preparation, Results, Uses


Brain Heart Infusion (BHI) Agar is a widely used culture medium for the isolation and cultivation of a variety of microorganisms, especially those that are pathogenic or fastidious. It is based on the infusion of brain and heart tissues from animals, which provide a rich source of nutrients and growth factors for the microbes. BHI Agar can support the growth of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, molds and actinomycetes. It can also be modified by adding blood or antibiotics to enhance or inhibit the growth of certain organisms.

BHI Agar was first developed by Rosenow in 1916 as a medium for the cultivation of pneumococci and streptococci. Later, it was found to be useful for other organisms as well. BHI Agar is now one of the most commonly used media in clinical microbiology and research laboratories. It is also recommended by various standard methods and guidelines for the isolation and identification of microorganisms from different sources, such as blood, cerebrospinal fluid, respiratory specimens, urine, feces, wounds and environmental samples.

BHI Agar is a versatile medium that can be used for different purposes, such as:

  • Primary isolation of aerobic bacteria from clinical specimens
  • Isolation of pathogenic systemic fungi and actinomycetes
  • Subculture and maintenance of bacterial and fungal strains
  • Preparation of inocula for antimicrobial susceptibility testing
  • Production of bacterial toxins and antigens
  • Induction of sporulation in some bacteria
  • Detection of hemolysis and other biochemical reactions