Sweeney, Edward E. (University of California, Los Angeles) and Gregory J. Jann. Utilization of carbohydrates and polyhydric alcohols by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J. Bacteriol. 84:459–465. 1962.—A new procedure, using a massive inoculum and nongrowth basal medium, was employed for testing carbohydrate and polyhydric alcohol utilization by human tubercle bacilli. A positive reaction was represented by acidification of the test medium rather than by growth, which was the criterion for carbohydrate utilization in studies by earlier workers. The new procedure was both more sensitive and more rapid than growth techniques; results were obtained within days, compared to weeks or months required for growth testing. The massive-inoculum technique may be applied to compounds other than carbohydrates and polyhydric alcohols, and is a sensitive means of detecting changes wrought by various chemical and physical agents upon the metabolism of tubercle bacilli. Three H37Rv strains and six strains of human tubercle bacilli freshly isolated from patients were tested with 21 carbohydrates and polyhydric alcohols. All nine strains gave strong positive reactions for glucose and glycerol, and usually weak positive reactions for ribose and sorbose. Five of the nine strains were trehalose positive, and six (all fresh patient isolates) of the nine were mannose positive
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