The effect of high-pressure oxygen on chromogenic bacteria

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MOST of the studies on the effect of oxygen under high pressure on bacterial infections have focused on the effect the oxygen might have on the experimental animal or on the human patient rather than on the infectious agent. Early studies on the effect of oxygen on bacteria were primarily aeration experiments using graded concentrations of oxygen at atmospheric pressures. Moore and Williams1, 2 and Adams3 studied the effect of oxygen on acid-fast bacteria and on Pasteurella pestis and concluded that oxygen had an inhibitory effect on the metabolism of these organisms. Karsner, Brittingham, and Richardson4 investigated the effect of high partial pressures of oxygen on other bacteria; their results were inconclusive.

Wilson5 aerated cultures of Salmonella typhimurium with increasing concentrations of oxygen, and found that cultures aerated with 100 percent oxygen produced approximately five times as much growth as did the control cultures that were not aerated. Levine6 studied the effect of oxygen on Bacillus subtilis and concluded that increasing the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere in which these cultures were grown to 100 percent had no significant effect on the rate of growth or sporulation of this organism. Smith and Johnson7 grew Serratia marcescens in a glucose-citrate medium and found that cell concentration and live cell count reached a maximum when aerated at the rate of 6mM of oxygen per liter per minute. Both pigmented and nonpigmented strains behaved similarly, but no note was made as to the effect, if any, the concentration of oxygen had on . . .



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