Dear Stanley: Tips for Maintaining Fastidious Microorganisms

Dear Stanley,

I’m having a tough time keeping my stock culture of Campylobacter viable. Do you have any tips for maintaining a stock culture of fastidious microorganisms like Campylobacter?


Jordan from Mankato, MN

Dear Jordan,

Maintaining fastidious microorganisms, such as Campylobacter, can be tricky!  Due to their specific nutritional requirements for growth, more care and attention is required for theses microorganisms than your average Escherichia coli.

Follow these simple rules to successfully maintain fastidious microorganisms:

1. Subculture more frequently. Fastidious microorganisms tend to have shorter survival times because they require very specific conditions for growth. Start by subculturing the working stock culture more than once a month. Some particularly short-lived strains, such as Campylobacter, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae, will need to be subcultured every three days.

2. Store the strains in their preferred atmospheres.

3. Keep the strains at room temperature or warmer.

  • CO2 dependent microorganisms should be stored at room temperature.
  • Microaerophiles maintain better when the working stock culture is kept in incubation.

4. Use a nonselective nutritive agar appropriate for maintenance of the microorganism. Refer to our Recommended Culture Methods document for detailed descriptions of growth methods for all Microbiologics strains. Culture method can also be found on each product’s page on our website.

Check out these helpful posts to learn more about the environments fastidious microorganisms require:

If you’re still having difficulty maintaining your stock cultures of Campylobacter or other fastidious microorganisms, our Technical Support team is ready to help and can be reached at or 1.320.229.7045.


Stanley Staphylococcus


Stanley Staphylococcus is a Master Micro-Technologist at Microbiologics, where he is responsible for helping customers understand why microorganisms behave the way they do. You could say he’s somewhat of a psychologist. Microbiologics has been lucky to have Stanley, a graduate of Gram-Positive Cocci University, as a member of their renowned Technical Support Team for over 20 years. Stanley says his favorite type of people are microbiologists and he enjoys traveling far and wide to meet them. Amazingly, Stanley has been on every continent – even Antarctica!

How to submit inquiries: There are two ways to get Stanley’s help. You can email your questions to or you can simply submit an inquiry from our Dear Stanley page. For urgent issues, please contact our Technical Support Team at or 1.320.229.7045.


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