Congo red agar plate method: Improved accuracy and new extended application to Staphylococcus aureus

C. R. Arciola, D. Campoccia, A. M. Borrelli, M. E. Donati, L. Montanaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In the last decade an increasing number of research studies have focused on the role of slime formation in Staphylococcus epidermidis and, more recently, also in S. aureus. In this context, much attention is being paid to evaluating the prevalence of slime production among bacteria strains isolated from clinical infections in an attempt to assess the role and the diagnostic value of this well recognised virulence marker. Such types of investigations require reliable techniques to identify slime producing strains. For years, even though based on a subjective chromatic evaluation, the Congo red agar plate (CRA) represented a reference phenotypic test for S. epidermidis. Only with the new introduction of PCR-based techniques, able to specifically identify the genes necessary for slime production, did the accurate genetic classification of slime producing bacteria become possible. In the present investigation, a comparison with new PCR methods confirmed the validity of the classic CRA test, implemented with minor refinements. Thanks to a few modifications it was also possible to adapt and extend the CRA test, making it also suitable to screen S. aureus strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalNew Microbiologica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001


  • Biofilm
  • CRA test
  • Ico-locus
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • Slime
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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