Single specimens of diarrhoeal stool from 676 patients, mostly aboriginals aged less than 5 years, admitted to Alice Springs Hospital, central Australia, for diarrhoea between Sept. 1988 and Feb. 1989, were examined for spp. by culture on a blood-free medium with selective supplement (BFM; Oxoid) and blood agar overlaid with a membrane filter (FM). spp. were isolated on either BFM or FM or both from 225 patients. spp. were isolated on BFM alone from 75 patients and on FM alone from 213 patients ( < 0·001; χ test). Most campylobacters isolated on BFM were All subsp. , all “” except one, all subsp. and several uncharacterised isolates were isolated on FM only. was isolated on BFM but not FM from several patients, and . Serotyping of and isolated from both media showed the serotypes recovered from the two media to be different in some patients. In some patients concurrent infection with several species or serotypes (up to five) of , or both, was shown for the first time by the use of FM. We conclude that the use in combination of a selective medium and a non-selective medium with a filtration technique are better than either medium alone for the isolation of spp.


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