The effects of three unsaturated free fatty acids on growth was determined. Growth of in Brucella broth was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by arachidonic, linoleic and oleic acids. The degree of inhibition at any one concentration was related to the degree of fatty acid unsaturation. Triolein, a triacylglycerol ester of oleic acid did not inhibit growth. Inhibition of growth was associated with disruption of cell membranes. Incubation with C linoleic acid and C oleic acid showed incorporation of these fatty acids into cell mass and phospholipids leading to alteration of the phospholipid composition of the organism. Incorporation was greater with linoleic than oleic acid and this was associated with a greater inhibition of growth. These findings indicate that is sensitive to unsaturated free fatty acids through their incorporation into phospholipids and membrane destruction. This may have therapeutic implications.


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