TCBS Agar is used for the selective isolation of Vibrio cholerae and other enteropathogenic vibrios in a laboratory setting. TCBS Agar is not intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions in humans.

TCBS Agar is an abbreviation for Thiosulfate-Citrate-Bile-Sucrose Agar. TCBS Agar is also called Vibrio Selective Agar, and prepared according to the formula of Kobayashi et al. This formula is a modification of the selective medium from Nakanishi. All pathogenic Vibrio spp., except Vibrio hollisae, will grow on TCBS Agar. This highly selective agar meets the nutritional requirements of Vibrio spp. Vibrio spp. are able to grow in media containing increased salt concentrations, and some species are halophilic. Infections have been associated with ingestion of contaminated water and consumption of contaminated shellfish or seafood. Vibrio spp. are natural inhabitants of seawater.

TCBS Agar is recommended for isolating Vibrio spp. from samples, and specified in standard methods for food testing.


Formula Liter
Yeast Extract 5 g
Enzymatic Digest of Casein 5 g
Enzymatic Digest of Animal Tissue 5 g
Sodium Citrate 10 g
Sodium Thiosulfate 10 g
Oxbile 5 g
Sodium Cholate 3 g
Sucrose 20 g
Sodium Chloride 10 g
Ferric Citrate 1 g
Bromthymol Blue 0.04 g
Thymol Blue 0.04 g
Agar *14 g

  *10–15 g according to gel strength
Final pH: 8.6 ± 0.2 at 25°C
Formula may be adjusted and/or supplemented as required to meet performance specifications.


  1. Suspend 88 g of the medium in one liter of purified water.
  2. Heat with frequent agitation and boil for one minute to completely dissolve the medium.

Order Details

Product # Product Description
7210A TCBS Agar, 500 g
7210T TCBS Agar, 5 kg