CAS agar diffusion assay for the measurement of siderophores in biological fluids

J Microbiol Methods. 2001 Feb 1;44(1):89-95. doi: 10.1016/s0167-7012(00)00229-3.


We developed a simple and universal method, by modifying the universal CAS (Chrome azurol S) assay, measuring siderophores in various biological fluids. We named the assay as CAS agar diffusion (CASAD) assay. CAS plate devoid of nutrients was prepared by using Bacto-agar (1.5%, w/v) as a matrix. Holes with 5-mm-diameter were punched on the CAS agar plate. Each hole was added by 35 microl of the test fluids containing Desferal that was twofold serially diluted. After incubating at 37 degrees C or room temperature for 4-8 h, the size of orange haloes formed around the holes was measured. The size of orange haloes correlated well with the concentration of Desferal in all the biological fluids tested in this study. CASAD assay showed consistent results in wide pH range from 5 to 9. Addition of iron to the test fluids containing Desferal decreased the size of orange haloes in a dose-dependent manner, which suggests that the CASAD assay detects only iron non-bound siderophore. These results suggest that CASAD assay would serve as a simple, stable, and highly reproducible test for screening and quantitative siderophore analysis in biological fluids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amniotic Fluid / chemistry
  • Amniotic Fluid / microbiology
  • Ascitic Fluid / chemistry
  • Ascitic Fluid / microbiology
  • Body Fluids / chemistry*
  • Body Fluids / microbiology
  • Chlorides
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Ferric Compounds / chemistry
  • Ferric Compounds / metabolism
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Liver Cirrhosis / microbiology
  • Pleural Effusion / chemistry
  • Pleural Effusion / microbiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Siderophores / analysis*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / chemistry*


  • Chlorides
  • Ferric Compounds
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Siderophores
  • chrome azurol S
  • ferric chloride