Candle Jar Use for Anaerobiosis: Introduction and Importance

candle jar use for anarobiosis

Candle jar use for anaerobiosis

Candle jar use for anaerobiosis is really a subject of laughing at this time but still, it is very helpful in certain scenarios e.g. ‘Use of an Innovative Simple Method for Anaerobiosis in the Diagnosis and Management of Infections in Two Unusual Cases’.

Introduction of  Candle jar use

The available methods for anaerobiosis are costly and cumbersome. This is the reason, empirical treatment of anaerobic infections has become a routine practice in most centers, often resulting in drug abuses, drug resistance development, and fatal outcome. A simple, cost-effective method of anaerobiosis may contribute toward the rational treatment of such infections for resource-limited centers. A candle jar system for rapid combustion coupled with acidified steel wool for purging most part of the residual oxygen has been developed for the purpose. Using this technique in two different cases of anaerobic infections they timely identified which became our eye-opener cases for effective management.

Importance of Candle jar use

This case report highlights the importance of candle jar use from this discussion. Successful isolation of anaerobes from clinical materials requires quick inoculation in pre-reduced media, prompt incubation as well as the use of a device ensuring early attainment of critically low oxygen levels in the incubation system. In a modified candle-jar system, first step combustion approximately consumes 90% of atmospheric oxygen instantaneously almost at zero cost, creating a vacuum equivalent to about 15% air with the addition of another 4% carbon dioxide. Residual oxygen is brought down in the next step to a critical level by the application of acidified copper-coated steel wool. After standardization, the technique was used for the testing of clinical materials. Two anaerobic pathogens, Porphyromonas spp. and P. anaerobius were isolated from a case of orthopedic injury and V-P shunt infections, respectively, which prompted us for wide-scale application of the innovative technique


  • Bailey & Scott’s Diagnostic Microbiology. Editors: Betty A. Forbes, Daniel F. Sahm & Alice S. Weissfeld, 12th ed 2007, Publisher Elsevier.
  • Clinical Microbiology Procedure Handbook, Chief in editor H.D. Isenberg, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, Publisher ASM (American Society for Microbiology), Washington DC
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