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Phenylethyl Alcohol Blood Agar (PEA)

Phenylethyl Alcohol Blood Agar (PEA) is an enriched selective medium for the isolation of obligately anaerobic bacteria from clinical specimens. Phenylethyl Alcohol Blood Agar medium contains phenylethyl alcohol to inhibit the growth of gram-negative, facultatively-anaerobic bacteria and prevent swarming. This medium is based on the Brucella Agar forumulation and will support the growth of most obligate anaerobic bacteria, both gram positive and gram negative. The Phenylethyl Alcohol Blood Agar medium is especially useful in selective isolation of anaerobes from mixed populations that contain rapidly growing gram-negative bacteria such as Proteus species. This medium is prepared, stored and dispensed under oxygen-free conditions to prevent the formation of oxidized products prior to use. 

   Anaerobe Systems PRAS Phenylethyl Alcohol
   Blood Agar (PEA) AS-113


Phenylethyl Alcohol Blood Agar Products

Item #


PEA mono plate

1 plate



PEA mono plate

4 plates


Bi-Plates and Combination Packs

BRU mono / LKV mono / PEA mono 
1 plate ea.  6.65


BRU mono / BBE-PEA Biplate

1 plate ea.



BRU mono / PEA mono / BBE-LKV Biplate

1 plate ea.



BRU mono / PEA mono / LBA mono / BBE-LKV Biplate

1 plate ea.



BRU mono / PEA mono / LKV mono / BBE mono

1 plate ea.



Pancreatic Digest of Casein, 10.0 g

Soy Peptone, 3.0 g

Animal Tissue, 10.0 g

Dextrose, 1.0 g

Yeast Extract, 2.0 g

Sodium Chloride, 5.0 g

Sodium Bisulfite, 0.1 g

Hemin (0.1% soln), 5.0 ml

Vitamin K1 (1% soln), 1.0 ml

L-Cystine, 0.4 g

Agar, 15.0 g

Sheep Blood, 45.5 ml

Phenylethyl Alcohol, 2.7 ml

Distilled Water, 1000.0 ml


Final pH 7.1 +/- 0.4 at 25 degrees C.

Final weight 16.0 g +/- 1.6 for monoplate.

Final weight 8.0 g +/- 0.8 for Bi-plate. 


For IN VITRO DIAGNOSTIC USE only.  Approved biohazard precautions and aseptic techniques should be observed when using this product.  This product is for use only by properly-trained and qualified personnel.  Sterilize all biohazard waste prior to disposal.

Storage and Shelf Life

Storage:  Upon receipt, store at room temperature (13°C - 27°C) in original container until use.  Avoid overheating or freezing.  Do not use medium if there are signs of deterioration (shrinking, cracking or discoloration) or contamination.  The expiration date applies to the product in its original packaging and stored as directed.  Do not use product past the expiration date shown on the container.

Shelf Life:  90 days from date of manufacture. 


Specimen Collection:  Specimens for anaerobic culture should be protected from air (oxygen) during collection, transport and processing.  Consult appropriate references for detailed instructions concerning collection and transport of anaerobes.

Methods for Use:  Phenylethyl Alcohol Blood Agar should be inoculated directly with clinical material or a broth that has been previously inoculated from clinical material.  Inoculated plates should be streaked to obtain isolated colonies, immediately placed in an anaerobic atmosphere and incubated at 35-37oC for 18-48 hours.  Additional periods of incubation may be necessary to recover some anaerobes.  Detailed instructions for processing anaerobic cultures can be found in the appropriate references.

Materials Required But Not Provided

Standard microbiological supplies and equipment such as loops, saline blanks, slides, microscope, incinerator / autoclave, incubators, anaerobic chamber, other culture media and serological and biochemical reagents.


Phenylethyl Alcohol Blood Agar will not provide complete information for the identification of bacterial isolates.  Additional test procedures and media are required for complete identification. It is recommended that a non-selective medium such as Anaerobic Brucella Blood Agar also be inoculated from clinical specimens to assure growth of all species present.  Some strains of facultative organisms, which are normally inhibited, may grow on the Phenylethyl Alcohol Blood Agar medium.  A test for aerotolerance should be used to confirm that each colony type is an obligate anaerobe.  Consult reference material for additional information.

Quality Control

This medium should support good growth of anaerobes found in clinical infections.  In addition, Phenylethyl Alcohol Blood Agar should inhibit the growth of facultatively-anaerobic, gram-negative rods such as Escherichia coli and the swarming of Proteus mirabilis. 

The following organisms are routinely used for quality control performance testing at Anaerobe Systems.

Organism Tested



Time (Hours)

Bacteroides fragilis



24 h

Prevotella melaninogenica


 No Growth


Fusobacterium necrophorum



24 h

Fusobacterium nucleatum


No Growth


Clostridium perfringens



24 h

Peptostreptococcus anaerobius



24 h

Staphylococcus aureus or    Enterococcus faecalis

25923     29212


24 h

Escherichia coli


Inhibited to No Growth


Proteus mirabilis


Inhibited to No Growth


Propionibacterium acnes  or  Clostridium difficile

6919     9689


24 – 48 h

24 h


 User Quality Control: The final determination to the extent and quantity of user laboratory quality control must be determined by the end user.

If sterility testing is to be performed on this product, the appropriate percentage of the original shipment amount should be incubated anaerobically and aerobically for 48 – 96 hours.

If the nutritive/inhibitory capacity of this media is to be tested for performance, it is recommended that the following ATCC organisms be evaluated for growth/inhibition.



Expected Growth

B. fragilis

24 hrs

P. melaninogenica


F. nucleatum


E. coli


                                                                               NG = No Growth    


Physical Appearance:  Phenylethyl Alcohol Blood Agar should appear opaque burgundy red in color.



1.        Dowell, V. R., Jr. and T. M. Hawkins. 1974. Laboratory Methods in Anaerobic Bacteriology.  CDC Laboratory Manual. USDHEW C. D. C. Atlanta, GA 30333.


2.        Dowell, V. R., Jr. and G. L. Lombard. 1977. Presumptive Identification of Anaerobic Non-sporeforming Gram-negative Bacilli. USDHEW, CDC. Atlanta, GA 30333.


3.        Dowell, V. R., Jr., G. L. Lombard, F. S. Thompson and A. Y. Armfiedl. 1977. Media for the Isolation, Characterization, and Identification of Obligately Anaerobic Bacteria. USDHEW, CDC, Atlanta, GA 30333.


4.        Holdeman, L. V., F. P. Cato and W. E. C. Moore. 1977. Anaerobe Laboratory Manual.  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Blacksburg, VA 24061.


5.        Jousimies-Somer, H. R., Summanen, P., Citron, D. M., Baron, E. J., Wexler, H. M. and S. M. Finegold. 2002. Wadsworth – KTL Anaerobic Bacteriology Manual. Star Publishing Co., Belmont, CA 94002


6.        NCCLS. Quality Control for Commercially Prepared Microbiological Culture Media; Approved Standard- Third Edition. (2004). NCCLS document M22-A3. NCCLS, 940 West Valley Road, Suite 1400, Wayne, PA 19087-1898.