Summary: Rapidly growing mycobacteria (14 species, 67 strains) showed a highly significant correlation between their susceptibility to smegmatocin (a Tween-hydrolysing esterase of exhibiting antimicrobial activity in the presence of Tween 80) and sensitivity to oleic acid (a hydrolysis product of Tween 80). Polyoxyethylenesorbitan ether, the other product of Tween 80 hydrolysis, also showed some toxic effect on smegmatocin-sensitive mycobacteria. From ATCC 19340, a representative smegmatocin-sensitive strain, mutant strains with smegmatocin-resistant phenotypes were isolated. These mutants were more resistant to oleic acid than the parent strain, although their oleic acid resistance was somewhat lower than their smegmatocin resistance.


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