An enriched medium containing chloramphenicol (while some IMA plates also contain gentamicin) to prevent the growth of bacteria – and are recommended for isolation of fungi from materials having an extensive flora of other fungi or bacteria.

IMA supports the growth of a wide range of fungi and due to the presence of antibiotics inhibits the growth of most bacteria more effectively than other fungal culture media (Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA)).  In prior studies IMA has been found to support the growth of four times more fungal isolates when compared to SDA [1].  There are exceptions to this “rule” and Rhodotorula spp. (growth is affected by chloramphenicol) and some hyaline hyphomycetes may grow less well/not at all on IMA.

This media is commercially available from a number of companies.  Plates should be “deep-filled” to prevent drying during prolonged incubation and checked twice a week for growth.


Per Liter of medium:

Pancreatic Digest of Casein 3.0 g
Sodium Phosphate 2.0 g
Peptic Digest of Animal Tissue 2.0 g
Magnesium Sulfate 0.8 g
Yeast Extract 5.0 g
Ferrous Sulfate 0.04 g
Dextrose 5.0 g
Sodium Chloride 0.04 g
Starch 2.0 g
Manganese Sulfate 0.16 g
Dextrin 1.0 g
Agar 15.0 g
Chloramphenicol 0.125 g
  1. Scognamiglio T, Zinchuk R, Gumpeni P, Larone DH. Comparison of inhibitory mold agar to Sabouraud dextrose agar as a primary medium for isolation of fungi. J Clin Microbiol 2010; 48(5): 1924-5.  PMID: 20220162