Developed by E.C. Rosenow and then modified by R.L. Hayden this media uses dehydrated infusions of porcine brain and heart tissue for the recovery of a wide variety of fastidious organisms, including bacteria, yeast and moulds. May be infused with antibiotics to inhibit the growth of most bacteria and used primarily for the recovery of saprophytic or dimorphic fungi.

BHI agar can be purchased from a variety of commercial sources or for laboratories needing large number of plates is often made “in-house”.


Per liter of medium:

Brain Heart Infusion 8 g
Peptic Digest of Animal Tissue 5 g
Pancreatic Digest of Casein 16 g
Dextrose 2 g
Sodium Chloride 5 g
Disodium Phosphate 2.5 g
Agar 13.5 g

Final pH: 7.4 ± 0.2 at 25°C

  1. Dissolve medium in one liter of purified water.
  2. Heat with frequent agitation to completely dissolve the medium.
  3. Autoclave for 15 minutes.

Chloramphenicol (50 mg) and/or gentamicin (5 mg) can be added to the above as needed.

The addition of cycloheximide at 0.5 g is also used in some preparations.