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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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Clostridium Quad Plate

  • Key reactions for the identification of Clostridium septicum are demonstrated in the two quadrant plates shown in the images to the right.
  • Included in the upper image are reactions for milk (casein) proteolysis (12 o'clock quadrant), glucose fermentation, DNAse hydrolysis, and starch hydrolysis respectively reading clockwise.
  • The media in the quadrant plate shown in the lower image include gelatin hydrolysis (2 o'clock quadrant) and fermentation of each of mannitol, lactose, and rhamnose respectively, reading clockwise.
  • Milk (casein) hydrolysis and glucose fermentation are key reactions for the identification in the upper plate, including no proteolysis of milk, fermentation of glucose (yellow red color along the inoculation streak), positive DNAse (reddish clearing around the streak) ,and a negative reaction for starch.
  • Key reactions in the lower plate include hydrolysis of gelatin, fermentation of lactose (yellow pigment), and negative reactions for mannitol and rhamnose (no pigment).
  • Most strains of C. perfringens hydrolyze starch and produce proteolysins of milk, the key reactions that distinguish C. septicum (negative). Reactions to the other tests do not distinguish between the two.