For about 50 years, biochemical methods (coloured series) have been used to differentiate bacterial pathogens. Today, state-of-the-art technology and molecular biological methods have also entered the classic bacteriological laboratory. 

Molecular biological methods such as PCR and sequencing allow the rapid and highly specific analysis of bacterial isolates down to species and even subspecies level. Virulence factors and toxin types can be determined additionally to the bacterial species.

 Like all methods, cultural bacteriological pathogen detection has its advantages and disadvantages.

 A comprehensive search for all pathogen isolates in the sample is advantageous, provided that all growth conditions in question are fulfilled. Once an isolate has been cultivated, it then can be used for further investigations or measures such as resistance tests or the production of a stock-specific vaccine.

A disadvantage is the long examination time due to incubation times in each examination procedure. Also, the culture is only successful as long as there are living bacteria in the sample. Therefore, the immediate start of the cultural examination is essential. Rapid and cooled transport to the examination facility and the correct transport medium are of particular importance for the success of the examination. Avoiding contamination of the sample with environmental and spoilage pathogens is also important, as otherwise pathogens with fastidious growth characteristics are easily overgrown. If possible, the samples should also not come from animals that have already been treated with antibiotics.

For further questions please contact:

 Mira Schumann
(Head of bacteriology)
Phone: +49511 220029-40 or -0


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