Arcobacter, the newly reclassified Campylobacter species, has been shown to cause diarrhea in both humans and animals. Few studies have been conducted regarding its occurrence in foods because of the lack of effective isolation and identification methods. The purpose of this study was to develop a plating medium that would be selective for the three most commonly found Arcobacter species. The effect of common components used in media intended for the isolation of Campylobacter, Helicobacter, and other gram-negative rods was examined. These components were divided into five distinct groups: (1) basic growth nutrients, (2) reducing and growth-promoting agents, (3) detoxifying agents, (4) antibiotics, and (5) color-enhancing compounds. Components from each of these groups were tested for their ability to recover Arcobacter on a solid medium when incubated aerobically at 30°C for up to 72 h. Growth was evaluated by the ecometric technique, colony size, and differential colony morphology after incubation. After initial evaluations, five formulas showing the best results were selected and tested in detail and compared with brucella agar. A medium containing a basal nutrient mix along with 0.05% thioglycolic acid, 0.05% sodium pyruvate, and 5% sheep's blood (pH 6.9 ± 0.2) was found to be the most effective for the growth of A. butzleri, A. cryaerophilus, and A. nitrofigilis. In addition to superior growth characteristics, a deep red color around the colonies also was observed with this formulation.

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