Incorporation of vancomycin (5 micrograms/ml), neomycin (5 micrograms/ml), sodium azide (50 micrograms/ml), nystatin (100 iu/ml) and cyclohexamide (100 micrograms/ml) into 5 per cent horse blood agar results in a selective medium for the primary isolation of Haemophilus somnus from cattle and sheep. Addition of thiamine monophosphate (1 microgram/ml) to the medium enhanced growth of this bacterium. Gram-positive bacteria did not grow on the medium and colonies of many Gram-negative bacteria were eliminated or reduced in numbers and size. Colonies of H somnus were larger on the selective medium than on sheep blood agar but retained typical morphology. Recovery of 18 laboratory strains was 73 to 166 per cent (mean 112) on selective medium compared to sheep blood agar. H somnus was isolated from the vagina of a total of 136 (28.6 per cent) of 476 cows surveyed, 79 (16.6 per cent) on sheep blood agar and 129 (27.1 per cent) on selective medium. The selective agents and thiamine were stable indefinitely as a freeze dried mixture while prepared plates were stable for two weeks.
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