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Slanetz and Bartley agar

Slanetz and Bartley agar (under revision)

The figure shows plates with SlaBa agar. Bacteria ave not been cultivate on plate A and Enterococcus faecalis has been cultivated on plate B. Note the colour of the colonies. - Click on the image to enlarge it.

Image: Karl-Erik Johansson (BVF, SLU) and Lise-Lotte Fernström (BVF, SLU).


Slanetz and Bartley agar (SlaBa agar) is a selective medium, which is used for surface streaking and enumeration of Enterococcus spp. in drinking water, beverages and other biological products of animal origin. Cultivation on SlaBa agar is performed at 44°C after surface spreading.

SlaBa agar contains:

  • tryptose (contains peptides)
  • yeast extract (contains peptides, sugars, minerals and B vitamins)
  • glucose (carbon source)
  • KH(PO)4
  • sodium azide [(NaN3) inhibits growth of Gram-negative bacteria]
  • triphenyltetrazolium chloride [(TTC) is an indicator of bacterial growth]
  • agar (gelifying agent)
  • water

The final pH of the medium should be 7.2.


When bacteria grow, TTC is reduced to a product which is called formazan and this will change the colour of the colonies to red to maroon.

Updated: 2017-05-10.

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Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences