SUMMARY. The skin flora of 20 normal subjects was sampled from 7-cm sites on the volar forearm, forehead and ball of the foot. Interactions between all aerobic and anaerobic strains isolated from the same site were examined by a deferred-antagonism technique. Seventeen subjects possessed inhibitory strains on at least one skin site. Of the Micrococcaceae tested, 20·6% were inhibitory. Of the aerobic diphtheroids, more strains were sensitive (19·2%) than inhibitory (5·1%). Inhibitory Micrococcaceae and aerobic diphtheroids revealed intergeneric and intrageneric inhibition. Antagonistic propionibac-teria were found (7·4%) but no sensitive strains. Several Micrococcaceae were specifically antagonistic towards only one strain isolated from the same skin site; no sensitive strains from other skin sites or other subjects were found. Quantitative sampling showed that only 17·5% of the inhibitory strains clearly dominated their skin sites numerically.


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