The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Case Studies in Clinical Microbiology. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Colony Morphology

The growth observed on the anaerobic blood agar plate after 48 hours incubation (see upper image), revealed a spreading colony. The spreading nature of the colony is better observed in the lower image.
In the case study, no growth was observed on subcultures incubated aerobically, indicating that this isolate is truly an anaerobe (although aerotolerance studies would be needed for confirmation). The spreading nature of the colony and the lack of hemolysis are highly suggestive of Clostridium septicum. However, biochemical confirmation is necessary.