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Anticapsin, a New Biologically Active Metabolite: Screening and Assay Procedures

By J. G. Whitney, Sandra S. Funderburk, J. E. Westhead, D. H. Lively, J. M. Solenberg and Jerry W. Denney


In addition to its implication in the virulence of Streptococcus pyogenes, the hyaluronic acid capsule produced by this bacterium renders it resistant to infection by bacteriophage. A method employing S. pyogenes and a bacteriophage incorporated into an agar plate was devised as a screen to detect compounds that inhibit the formation of the hyaluronic acid capsule. Filter-paper discs saturated with experimental compounds were applied to the surface of test plates containing host plus phage and control plates of host only. After incubation, inhibition of capsule synthesis was indicated by the presence of clear zones where phage infection and lysis had occurred. Zones of growth inhibition on control plates represented classical antibacterial activity. During the testing of over 6,000 fermentation samples, anticapsin, a unique metabolite, was discovered. Modification of incubation temperature, thickness of agar layers, and host-phage input ratios resulted in a quantitative assay method having a dose-response range of 4 to 160 μg of anticapsin

Topics: Metabolism and Products
Year: 1972
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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