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BCYE Agar Base is used for the isolation of Legionella spp. in a laboratory setting. BCYE Agar Base is not intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions in humans.

In 1977, McDade et al. identified Legionella pneumophila as the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, a multisystem disease manifested primarily by pneumonia. In 1978 a new medium, F-G Agar, resulted in improved growth of L. pneumophila, a very fastidious organism. Freely et al. modified F-C Agar by substituting yeast extract as a vitamin source and replacing starch with activated charcoal, producing Charcoal Yeast Extract (CYE) Agar. In 1980, Pasculle et al. reported that CYE Agar could be improved by the addition of ACES (N-2-acetamido-2-aminoethane sulfonic acid) buffer. One year later, Edelstein further increased the sensitivity of the medium by adding the potassium salt of alpha-ketoglutaric acid.


Formula Liter
Yeast Extract 10 g
ACES Buffer 10 g
Charcoal, Activated 1.5 g
α-Ketoglutarate 1 g
Ferric Pyrophosphate 0.25 g
Agar 15 g

Final pH: 6.9 ± 0.2 at 25°C
Formula may be adjusted and/or supplemented as required to meet performance specifications.

Supplements / 10 mL

L-Cysteine (4%), sterile


  1. Suspend 38 g of the medium in 900 mL of purified water.
  2. Adjust pH to 6.9 with 1N KOH.
  3. Add water to bring volume to 1000 mL.
  4. Heat to boiling with stirring to dissolve.
  5. Autoclave at 121°C for 15 minutes. Cool to 45 – 50°C.
  6. Aseptically add 10 mL of a sterile solution of L-Cysteine (4%).
  7. Mix and add inhibitor solutions if required.
  8. Dispense with agitation.

Order Details

Product # Product Description
7728A BCYE Agar Base, 500 g