Suspect Yersinia pestis?

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Preliminary Identification of the Primary Select Agents of Bioterrorism. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Suspect Yersinia pestis?

Any isolate with the following features should be immediately referred to your LRN reference laboratory:
  • Gram stain shows fat, gram-negative rods in single or short chains that may demonstrate bipolar staining
  • Faster growth at 25oC
  • Gray-white, translucent colonies on sheep blood agar (SBA) at 24 hours that turn slightly yellow and opaque at 48 hours
  • Irregular colonies that have a "fried egg" and/or "hammered copper" appearance after 48-72 hours
  • Catalase positive
  • Oxidase negative
  • Urea negative
  • Indole negative