Did you know that agar is used in diagnostic tests?

Wed, 05/08/2020 - 07:15
Did you know that agar is used in diagnostic tests?

Agar is part of daily life and is not only linked to food. There is a long list of diseases in which agar and peptones play a key role in their diagnosis: respiratory, digestive system and urinary diseases, and many more. Some of them are easily treatable and others are of concern to the WHO because of their resistance to antibiotics.

In the case of a patient going to a medical center with symptoms of a disease caused by bacteria, a sample shall be taken and inoculated into a suitable medium to encourage the multiplication of the microorganisms. What is the purpose of this process? To see if the disease-causing bacteria is present in the sample.

This medium is solid or liquid agar, enriched with peptones or other different substances (sugars, hydrates...) that promote the growth of the bacteria to be diagnosed. In this way, within a few hours, the medical center's laboratory will be able to know whether the disease is related to a bacterial infection, and shall prescribe the appropriate treatment for each specific case.

But not only that, thanks to the culture media, the laboratory can test different antibiotics to which these bacteria are sensitive, detect the one that offers the best results, and thus determine the most effective treatment.