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Doneen Hollingsworth, Secretary of Health

Bacillus anthracis — Motility

Bacillus anthracis is nonmotile. This is an unusual characteristic among Bacillus species.

Method 1: Wet Mount Slide

  • Prepare a wet mount slide of a suspect colony from a 12 to 20 hour culture or from a fresh broth.

Method 2: Motility Test Medium

  • Inoculate motility test medium. Incubate at 35 to 37 degrees C for 18 to 24 hours.

 

Motility test medium
nonmotile bacillus

Nonmotile Bacillus anthracis is on the right. Growth is a single line of growth that does not deviate from the original inoculum stab. Note the diffuse cloud of motility in the positive control on the left.

Motile Bacillus species with diffuse growth throughout the tube is on left.

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