Mechanisms that control bacterial populations in continuous-flow culture models of mouse large intestinal flora.

Infection and Immunity
R FreterA Aranki

Abstract

A previous study had established that anaerobic continuous-flow (CF) cultures of conventional mouse cecal flora were able to maintain the in vivo ecological balance among the indigenous bacterial species tested. This paper describes experiments designed to determine the mechanisms which control the population sizes of these species in such CF cultures. One strain each of Escherichia coli, Fusobacterium sp., and Eubacterium sp. were studied. Growth of these strains in filtrates of CF cultures was considerably more rapid than in the CF cultures themselves, indicating that the inhibitory activity had been lost in the process of filtration. Growth rates to match those in CF cultures could be obtained, however, by restoring the original levels of H(2)S in the culture filtrates. The inhibitory effect of H(2)S in filtrates and in dialysates of CF cultures could be abolished by adding glucose or pyruvate, but not formate or lactate. The fatty acids present in CF cultures matched those in the cecum of conventional mice in both quality and concentration. These acids could not account for the slow rates of growth of the tested strains in CF cultures, but they did cause a marked increase in the initial lag phase of E. coli growth. The resu...Continue Reading

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