Brain Heart Infustion (BHI) Medium

Brain Heart Infusion (BHI) medium is a general purpose nutrient medium for cultivation and isolation of a variety of fastidious and non-fastidious microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Rosenow, by adding brain tissue to dextrose broth, discovered this medium that was useful in the cultivation of streptococci1. This media supports growth of Pneumococci, Meningococci, Histoplasma capsulatu etc. Medium enriched with Fildes is a semi-solid medium useful for cultivating organisms requiring blood derivatives, especially Haemophilus spp. Fildes is a peptic digest of sheep blood rich in X- and V-factors. The addition of defibrinated sheep blood and antimicrobics produces a selective medium used for the isolation of pathogenic fungi from specimens heavily contaminated with bacteria and saprophytic fungi2. Formula modifications were made by various researchers who found the medium effective in the recovery of dental pathogens1,3,4.


Product NameCatalog #Quantity
BHI Agar mono plate, 90 x 15 mm CB9170P 10/pk
BHI Agar Slant CB9170S 10/pk
BHI Broth CB9170B 10/pk
BHI Agar w/5% Sheep Blood mono plate, 90 X 15 mm CB9175P 10/pk
BHI Agar w/5% Sheep Blood Slant CB9175S 10/pk


Quality Control



The following organisms are routinely used for testing for this medium.aCandida albicans ATCC®10231GrowthaRecommended QC strains for User Quality Control according to the CLSI document M22 when applicable.
Test OrganismsResults
BHI Agar:  
Escherichia coli ATCC® 25922 Growth
Staphylococcus aureus ATCC® 25923 Growth
Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC® 12228 Growth
BHI Agar with Blood:  
Streptococcus pyogenes ATCC® 19615 Growth; beta-hemolysis
aStreptococcus pneumonia ATCC® 6305 Growth; alpha-hemolysis
Aspergillus brasiliensi, formerly A. niger ATCC® 16404 Growth
Staphylococcus aureus ATCC® 25923 Growth
Escherichia coli ATCC® 25922 Growth
BHI Agar with Blood and Gentamicin / BHI Agar with Chloramphenicol, and Gentamicin / BHI Agar with Blood, Chloramphenicol, and Gentamicin:  
Trichophyton mentagrophytes ATCC® 9533 Growth
Escherichia coli ATCC® 25922 Partial to complete inhibition
Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC® 27853 Partial to complete inhibition
BHI Agar with Chloramphenicol and Cycloheximide:  
aCandida albicans ATCC® 10231 Growth
aTrichophyton mentagrophytes ATCC® 9533 Growth
aEscherichia coli ATCC® 25922 Partial to complete inhibition
aAspergillus brasiliensis formerly A. niger ATCC® 16404 Partial to complete inhibition
BHI with Agar and Fildes:  
Haemophilus influenzae ATCC® 10211 Growth


User Quality Control



Check for signs of contamination and deterioration. Users of commercially prepared media may be required to perform quality control testing with at least one known organism to demonstrate growth or a positive reaction; and at least one organism to demonstrate inhibition or a negative reaction (where applicable).

Ingredients g/L

(Final pH 7.4 +/- 0.3 at 25°C)Pancreatic Digest of Casein16.0
BHI Agar  
Brain Heart Infusion from Solids 10.0
Peptic Digest of Animal Tissue 5.0
Sodium Chloride 3.0
Disodium Phosphate 2.5
Dextrose 2.0
Agar (where applicable) 13.5
BHI Agar with Blood  
In addition to the above formulation, contains:  
Sheep Blood (mL) 50.0
BHI Agar with Blood and Gentamicin  
In addition to the above formulation, contains:  
Gentamicin 5.0
Sheep Blood (mL) 50.0
BHI Agar with Chloramphenicol and Gentamicin  
In addition to the above formulation, contains:  
Chloramphenicol 50.0
Gentamicin 5.0
BHI Agar with Blood, Chloramphenicol and Gentamicin  
In addition to the above formulation, contains:  
Chloramphenicol 50.0
Gentamicin 5.0
Sheep Blood (mL) 50.0
BHI with Chloramphenicol and Cycloheximide  
Pancreatic Digest of Casein 16.0
Brain Heart Infusion 8.0
Peptic Digest of Animal Tissue 5.0
Sodium Chloride 5.0
Disodium Phosphate 2.5
Dextrose 2.0
Cycloheximide 0.5
Chloramphenicol 0.05
Agar (where applicable) 13.5
BHI with Fildes  
Pancreatic Digest of Casein 14.5
Brain Heart Infusion from Solids 10.0
Peptic Digest of Animal Tissue 5.0
Sodium Chloride 3.0
Disodium Phosphate 2.5
Dextrose 2.0
Fildes Supplement (mL) 20.0
Agar (where applicable) 2.5
4 total citations

  1. Rosenow, E.C. 1919. J. Dental Research; 1:205.
  2. Murray, P.R., et al. 2007. Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 9th ed. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, D.C.
  3. Falk, C.R., et al. 1939. J. Bacteriol.; 37:121.
  4. Haden, R.L. 1932. Arch. Internal Med.; 32:828.
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