Skip to Main Navigation. Each navigation link will open a list of sub navigation links.

Skip to Main Content

Apply Now to the University of Wyoming apply now
Visit Campus
Download UW Viewbook
Give to UW

Bile Esculin Agar

This is a medium that is both selective and differential. It tests the ability of organisms to hydrolyze esculin in the presence of bile. It is commonly used to identify members of the genus Enterococcus (E faecalis and E. faecium).

The first selective ingredient in this agar is bile, which inhibits the growth of Gram-positives other than enterococci and some streptococci species. The second selective ingredient is sodium azide. This chemical inhibits the growth of Gram-negatives.

The differential ingredient is esculin. If an organism can hydrolyze esculin in the presence of bile, the product esculetin is formed. Esculetin reacts with ferric citrate (in the medium), forming a phenolic iron complex which turns the entire slant dark brown to black. The tube on the far right was inoculated with E. faecalis (positive). The tube in the center was inoculated with a bilie esculin negative organism and the tube on the left was uninoculated.

results for bile esculin test

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon