Martin Lewis Agar- Composition, Principle, Preparation, Results, Uses


Martin-Lewis Agar is a type of chocolate agar that is used for the selective isolation and cultivation of pathogenic Neisseria species, such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis. These bacteria are the causative agents of gonorrhea and meningitis, respectively, and are important public health concerns worldwide. Martin-Lewis Agar was developed by Martin and Lewis in 1980 as an improvement over Thayer-Martin Agar, which was the standard medium for Neisseria isolation at that time. Martin-Lewis Agar has a higher recovery rate and a lower contamination rate than Thayer-Martin Agar, making it more suitable for clinical and laboratory use. Martin-Lewis Agar contains a chocolate agar base that is enriched with hemoglobin and Bio-X, a chemically defined supplement that provides essential growth factors for Neisseria. It also contains four antimicrobial agents: vancomycin, colistin, anisomycin, and trimethoprim, which inhibit the growth of most other bacteria and fungi that may be present in the specimens. Martin-Lewis Agar is a differential medium that allows the identification of Neisseria species based on their colony morphology, oxidase reaction, and carbohydrate utilization tests. In this article, we will discuss the composition, principle, preparation, results, uses, and limitations of Martin-Lewis Agar.