STAPHYLOCOCCI IN COMPETITION. IV. EFFECT OF STARCH AND KIND AND CONCENTRATION OF SUGAR ON STAPHYLOCOCCAL GROWTH IN MIXED POPULATIONS.
Foods containing large amounts of carbohydrate have frequently been involved in staphylococcal food poisoning. Custard has been considered to be a highly favorable culture medium for staphylococci; however, it may be a selective medium rather than an ideal one. The influence of dextrose, lactose, and sucrose in varying amounts from 0.25 to 18%, and of starch, on the growth of staphylococci in mixed populations with saprophytes was determined. The inhibitory effect of the sugars was much greater on the saprophyte population than on the staphylococci. Of the three sugars, sucrose was most inhibitory to the saprophytes. It greatly decreased their lag periods as the concentration of sugar increased. Dextrose was the least inhibitory; in fact, 0.5% dextrose gave considerable stimulus to saprophyte growth. This sharply repressed staphylococcal growth. Lactose occupied an intermediate position. Rapid onset of the death phase of the staphylococci was observed in all increased sugar concentrations and seemed to be a pH effect rather than a result of competition. Sucrose exerted an inhibitory effect on the growth of saprophytes at and above room temperature. In the presence of 2.5% corn starch, staphylococcal growth in mixed cultures was slightly inhibited, while the death phase was sharply accelerated. Thus, carbohydrates exert their influence on staphylococcal growth in mixed cultures through their effect on the saprophytes by decreasing or increasing competition.
PETERSON, AC; BLACK, JJ; GUNDERSON, MF
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