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IMViC Tests Send Print

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Created: Tuesday, 08 December 2009
Last update: Thursday, 30 September 2010
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IMViC tests of Enterobacter aerogenes
FIG. 1. IMViC series of tests performed on Enterobacter aerogenes. Cultures of Enterobacter aerogenes were grown for 24 to 48 hours at 37°C and the respective tests were performed: indole test on sulfide-indole-motility (SIM) medium, negative result; methyl red test in methyl red–Voges-Proskauer (MR-VP) broth, negative result; Voges-Proskauer test in MR-VP broth, positive result; citrate test on Simmons citrate agar, positive result. (Sylvia McDevitt, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY)
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IMViC tests of Escherichia coli
FIG. 2. IMViC series of tests performed on Escherichia coli. Cultures of Escherichia coli were grown for 24 to 48 hours at 37°C and the respective tests were performed: indole test on SIM medium, positive result; methyl red test in MR-VP broth, positive result; Voges-Proskauer test in MR-VP broth, negative result; citrate test on Simmons citrate agar, negative result. (Sylvia McDevitt, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY)
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IMViC tests of Hafnia alvei
FIG. 3. IMViC series of tests performed on Hafnia alvei. Cultures of Hafnia alvei were grown for 24 to 48 hours at 37°C, and also at 30°C for the methyl red and Voges-Proskauer tests, and the respective tests were performed: indole test on SIM medium, negative result; methyl red test in MR-VP broth, positive result at 37°C, negative result at 30°C; Voges-Proskauer test in MR-VP broth, negative result at 37°C, positive result at 30°C; citrate test on Simmons citrate agar, negative result. (Sylvia McDevitt, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY)
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IMViC tests of E. coli
FIG. 4. Results of an IMViC series done on Escherichia coli after a 24-hour incubation at 37°C. Tube A shows a positive indole test in tryptone broth. The positive result is indicated by the red layer at the top of the tube after the addition of Kovács reagent. Tube B shows a positive methyl red test as indicated by the red color after the addition of methyl red reagent. Tube C shows a negative Voges-Proskauer test as indicated by the lack of color change after the addition of Barritt’s A and Barritt’s B reagents. Tube D shows a negative citrate result as indicated by the lack of growth and color change in the tube. (Anne Hanson, University of Maine, Orono, ME)
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IMViC tests of Proteus vulgaris
FIG. 5. Results of an IMViC series done on Proteus vulgaris after a 24-hour incubation at 37°C.  Tube A shows a positive indole test in tryptone broth. The positive result is indicated by the red layer at the top of the tube after the addition of Kovács reagent. Tube B shows a positive methyl red test as indicated by the red color after the addition of methyl red reagent. Tube C shows a negative Voges-Proskauer test as indicated by the lack of color change after the addition of Barritt’s A and Barritt’s B reagents. Tube D shows a negative citrate result as indicated by the lack of growth and color change in the tube. (Anne Hanson, University of Maine, Orono, ME)
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IMViC tests of Citrobacter freundeii
FIG. 6. Results of an IMViC series done on Citrobacter freundeii after a 24-hour incubation at 37°C. Tube A shows a negative indole test in tryptone broth. A negative result is indicated by the lack of color change at the top of the tube after the addition of Kovács reagent. Tube B shows a positive methyl red test as indicated by the red color after the addition of methyl red reagent. Tube C shows a negative Voges-Proskauer test as indicated by the lack of color change after the addition of Barritt’s A and Barritt’s B reagents. Tube D shows a positive citrate result as indicated by growth and a blue color change. (Anne Hanson, University of Maine, Orono, ME)
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IMViC tests of Enterobacter aerogenes
FIG. 7. Results of an IMViC series done on Enterobacter aerogenes after a 24-hour incubation at 37°C. Tube A shows a negative indole test in tryptone broth. A negative result is indicated by the lack of color change at the top of the tube after the addition of Kovács reagent. Tube B shows a negative methyl red test as indicated by no color change after the addition of methyl red reagent. Tube C shows a positive Voges-Proskauer test as indicated by the red-brown color after the addition of Barritt’s A and Barritt’s B reagents. Tube D shows a positive citrate result as indicated by growth and a blue color change. (Anne Hanson, University of Maine, Orono, ME)
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A battery of biochemical tests known as IMViC are used in the clinical lab to distinguish between members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. The acronym IMViC stands for indole, methyl red, Voges-Proskauer and citrate. The "i" in the acronym is added for pronunciation purposes.

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