Development of selective and differential medium for Shigella sonnei using three carbohydrates (lactose, sorbitol, and xylose) and X-Gal

G. N. Na, S. A. Kim, O. C. Kwon, M. S. Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to develop a new selective and differential medium for isolating Shigella sonnei (designated 3SD medium). The new medium was based on three carbohydrates (lactose, sorbitol, and xylose) and a chromogenic substrate (5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-β-. d-galactopyranoside, X-Gal). S. sonnei cannot ferment lactose, sorbitol, or xylose, but can ferment X-Gal, which generates turquoise-blue colonies with rough edges. Other bacteria (54 strains of foodborne pathogens and spoilage bacteria) produced visually distinct colonies on 3SD medium (colorless or pink-violet colonies), or their growth was inhibited on 3SD medium. The optimum concentration of 50. mg/L X-Gal was selected because it yielded the highest level of morphological discrimination between S. sonnei and other bacteria, and this concentration was cost-effective. Bile salt concentration optimization was performed using healthy, heat-injured, and acid-injured S. sonnei. The recovery rate differed significantly depending on the bile salt concentration; media containing >. 1.0. g/L bile salt showed significantly lower recovery of stress-injured cells than medium containing 0.5. g/L bile salt (. P<. 0.05). Growth of all Gram-positive bacteria was inhibited on medium containing 0.5. g/L bile salt; therefore, this concentration was used as the optimal concentration. Previous media used to isolate Shigella spp. (MacConkey, xylose lysine desoxycholate, and Salmonella-. Shigella agar) showed poor performance when used to support the growth of injured S. sonnei cells, whereas 3SD medium supported a high growth rate of injured and healthy cells (equivalent to that obtained with nutrient-rich tryptic soy agar). To validate the performance of 3SD medium with real specimens, S. sonnei and other bacteria were spiked into samples such as untreated water, carrot, salad, and oyster. 3SD medium showed superior specificity (100%) and sensitivity (100%) for S. sonnei, and yielded no false-positive or false-negative results. Thus, the novel 3SD medium described herein is a powerful tool for the rapid and efficient selective isolation of S. sonnei in research and clinical laboratories, and the food industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microbiological Methods
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V..


  • Lactose
  • Selective and differential medium
  • Shigella sonnei
  • Sorbitol
  • X-Gal
  • Xylose


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