Objectives: To evaluate the performance of the Anoxomat, in comparison with the conventional anaerobic GasPak jar system, for the isolation of obligate anaerobes. Method: Anoxomat, model WS800, and anaerobic GasPak jar system (Oxoid) were evaluated. Anoxomat system utilized a gas mixture of 80% N2, 10% CO2 and 10% H2, while the GasPak used a gas mixture of 90% H2 and 10% CO2. An anaerobic indicator within the jars monitored anaerobiosis. A total of 227 obligate anaerobic bacteria comprising 116 stock strains, 5 ATCC reference strains and 106 fresh strains, representing different genera, were investigated for growth on anaerobic agar plates and scored for density, colony sizes, susceptibility zones of antibiotic inhibition and the speed of anaerobiosis (reducing the indicator). Results: The results demonstrate that the growth of anaerobic bacteria is faster inside the Anoxomat jar than in the anaerobic GasPak jar system. Of the 227 strains tested, the colonies of 152 (67%) were larger (by size range of 0.2–2.4 mm) in the Anoxomat at 48 h than in the GasPak jar compared with only 21% (range 0.1–0.3 mm) that were larger in the GasPak than in the Anoxomat. The remaining 12% were equal in their sizes. There was no measurable difference in the colony sizes of the reference strains. The Porphyromonas asaccharolytica strains failed to grow within the GasPak system but grew inside the Anoxomat. With the Anoxomat, anaerobiosis was achieved about 35 min faster than in the GasPak system. The density of growth recorded for 177 (78%) strains was heavier in the Anoxomat than in the GasPak jar. The zones of inhibition of the antibiotics tested were not different in the two systems. Conclusion: The Anoxomat system provided superior growth, in terms of density and colony size, and achieved anaerobiosis more rapidly. Evidently, the Anoxomat method is more reliable and appears to support the growth of strict anaerobes better.

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