Earlier quantitative investigations of antagonism between skin bacteria were based on the use of liquid cultures, but a more realistic model has now been devised, based on the use of the surfaces of solid media. Pure or mixed inocula were spread evenly over suitable agar media in Petri dishes marked out with a standard grid. Growth curves were constructed from viable counts of the surface bacteria after they had been removed from excised squares of the agar media and dispersed. The method was highly reproducible, and competitive interactions were revealed more clearly than in studies with liquid media. An antibiotic-producing strain of (S6) readily suppressed strains of and species. However, a strain which was less sensitive to the antibiotic effect of S6 interacted in a complex manner, depending on the absolute and relative size of the S6 inoculum.


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