The production of and sensitivity to bacteriocin-like activity among 44 strains of black-pigmented anaerobes isolated from periodontal sites were evaluated by both an overlay and an agar diffusion method. The species studied were and the closely related species strains (90%) produced bacteriocin-like activity against and all were active against . Both species showed a high degree of activity against , whereas only one strain produced bacteriocin-like activity against either of the other two species. Both and showed some activity (40% and 20%, respectively) against other strains of the same species. Such bacteriocin production might be expected to influence the distribution of these black-pigmented species . Of 224 periodontal sites sampled, only 2.6% yielded mixed cultures of black-pigmented species and of these only one strain, a isolate, produced bacteriocin-like activity against any of the other strains isolated from these sites. These data support the concept that local production of bacteriocin-like activity may contribute to the selection of the black-pigmented bacterial profile in subgingival sites.


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