Seven materials used in the manufacture of tampons—four rayon, one modified rayon, one cotton and one carboxy-methyl cellulose (a modified cotton)—were compared for their effects on the physiology of a strain of isolated from a patient with Toxic Shock Syndrome. Experiments were performed in broth culture and, with the exception of two rayon samples, all of the materials tested reduced growth rate and cell yield compared with control values.

Exocellular acid phosphatase, lipase, proteinase, hyaluronate lyase and haemolysin in culture filtrates were measured and the lethality of filtrates was determined in mice. The tampon materials had different effects on the levels of exocellular products. Cotton and carboxy-methyl cellulose cotton materials reduced the levels of all of the activities tested. The activities of the other enzymes were reduced or increased, depending on which material was present. All materials reduced both haemolytic activity and lethality of the culture filtrates.

The in-vitro data suggest an extremely complex interaction between tampon materials and


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